Iyer and Dube to miss Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy quarter-final clash

Iyer left out for remaining three Tests against England; Kohli unavailable
Iyer and Dube to miss Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy quarter-final clash

Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of Mumbai’s upcoming Ranji Trophy quarter-final with back spasms, ESPNcricinfo has learnt. Mumbai will also be without the in-form Shivam Dube because of a side strain for the knockout game against Baroda starting February 23 at home.
Iyer played one round of the Ranji Trophy this year to warm up for the Test series against England, as he was picked for the first two games. He was, however, left out of the remaining three Tests after scores of 27, 29, 35 and 13 in the Tests in Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad. Iyer had experienced back spasms soon after the second Test, but had been cleared for selection for India.

It was a back injury that had kept Iyer out of the entire IPL 2023 and beyond until he returned for the Asia Cup in September, just before the ODI World Cup at home. He batted just once in the Asia Cup before smashing 530 runs in the World Cup while averaging 66.25 and striking at 113.24, with two centuries and three half-centuries. He soon returned to the Test side too, for the South Africa tour, before being retained for the first two Tests against England at home.

Fitness permitting, Iyer will return to lead his IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders after missing the last season with a back injury, and he has just over a month to recover for that.

Apart from injuries, the absence of India’s centrally-contracted players will be closely watched by the BCCI as the board secretary Jay Shah sent a letter to them last week, warning them to not prioritise IPL over domestic cricket.

Mumbai will probably miss Dube more in the quarter-final because he had struck two attacking centuries and two half-centuries in his six Ranji innings this season. Dube picked up the injury in the last league game against Assam and had gone for scans on the second day, when Mumbai trounced the visitors by an innings and 80 runs. It was Mumbai’s third innings win of this Ranji season.

Dube has averaged 67.83 in this Ranji campaign while striking at 82.38. His 117 off 130 had saved Mumbai from 86 for 6 in the second innings against Uttar Pradesh, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a two-wicket loss. Last week he hammered an 87-ball century with the help of five sixes against Assam to help script Mumbai’s fifth win of the season from seven league games and top the Group B table. He has also bowled 67 overs in seven innings this season for 12 wickets at just 12.08, while delivering 23 maidens.

Mumbai’s 16-man squad announced on Tuesday included allrounder Musheer Khan, brother of India’s recent debutant Sarfaraz Khan, who missed most of the Ranji season because of the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa where India finished runners-up to Australia. Musheer struck two centuries there to end with a tally of 360 runs from seven innings, the second-highest on the charts behind his team-mate Uday Saharan.

Mumbai will be led by Ajinkya Rahane with Prithvi Shaw, Shardul Thakur and Dhawal Kulkarni as the other international players in the side.

Mumbai squad: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Prithvi Shaw, Bhupen Lalwani, Amogh Bhatkal, Musheer Khan, Suryansh Shedge, Prasad Pawar (wk), Hardik Tamore (wk), Shardul Thakur, Shams Mulani, Tanush Kotian, Aditya Dhumal, Tushar Deshpande, Mohit Awasthi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Roystan Dias

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