BENGALURU: It is not often that top India cricketers take part in domestic tournaments like Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy on a regular basis. It is not that they are not interested in representing their states, but with India always having a hectic schedule, stars tend to skip these events. Besides, top players may also not want to walk into a settled team and upset the balance.
MS Dhoni recently decided against joining the Jharkhand side for the Hazare knockouts because he did not want to disturb the combination. Some may not want to risk injuries too.However, Wednesday’s Mumbai-Hyderabad semifinal at Chinnaswamy Stadium will see six players in action who have been in and around the national team in recent times. Other than the Mumbai quartet of Prithvi Shaw, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer, Hyderabad will have the services of Ambati Rayudu and Mohammed Siraj.
All eyes will be on Shaw, who made 237 runs in his debut Test series against West Indies. In the three Hazare matches he played before that, his scores read 98, 60 and 129. If he continues in the same vein, calls for his inclusion in the ODI side will gain momentum. Other than the 18-year-old, Rahane is another who is playing this match because the India-West Indies second Test got over in three days.
Mumbai coach Vinayak Samant is happy that the stars are available, but guards against complacency. “The presence of these four is a morale-booster for the team. But I have to make sure that complacency doesn’t set in. Sometimes the top order score runs, sometimes the lower order has to fire. Whatever the situation, you have to tackle that.”
Mumbai’s top-order has done the bulk of the scoring so far. Iyer, Rahane and Shaw have made runs whenever they played. But as result, their middle and lower-order have not been tested much, which could prove to be a concern.It remains to be seen if the experienced Suryakumar Yadav, who was injured on Tuesday during practice after being hit in his forearm, will be fit to play.
Hyderabad, on the other hand, depend on Siraj to trouble the Mumbai stalwarts. The pacer is in form, having taken three big wickets in the win against Andhra. Skipper Rayudu too has to rise to the occasion for Hyderabad to put it across the star-studded Mumbai team.