Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 | Last Update : 05:13 AM IST
With practice matches for the upcoming Ranji season beginning, the selectors have started shortlisting the players.
The Mumbai Ranji selectors have called out a few young players for the coming season that begins from October 6 along with the FIFA U-17 World Cup. “There are 4-5 young players whom we look forward to give a chance but it is solely on how they perform in the practice matches,” says Jatin Paranjpe.
The side, led by relentless batsman Rohit Sharma, will be aiming for their title number 42 this year. Last season, the Mumbai outfit were out to retain the title but they succumbed to Gujarat in the finals. However, the silver lining for Mumbai was the rise of youngsters in the likes of the 17-year-old Prithvi Shaw and 18-year-old Arman Jaffer. Shaw grabbed the opportunity he was given by scoring a century on his debut. “He (Shaw) is a fine young man with great skill and passion. He was a great find from last season. He is in the squad but we cannot guarantee anyone a place yet,” says Paranjpe.
The committee of selectors was formed on May 26. It is headed by former India stalwart Ajit Agargar with Nilesh Kulkarni, Sunil More and Paranjpe as the other selectors. These four have represented the Mumbai team together on many occasions in different tournaments. “It is like a reunion. All of us played together back in our days, the understanding is superb. Feels great to contribute to the Mumbai team from the outside,” says Paranjpe, who was the chief selector for BCCI before the orders of the Lodha committee.
The city has produced some of the world’s finest cricketers over the years. One major reason for this is the tournaments and leagues held in order to churn out the talent. One such competition is the Kanga League. The one-of-its-kind league was home to Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. The 45-year old Paranjpe says that he and his fellow selectors have been carefully watching the league to spot talent as the monsoon league provides the most difficult conditions to play the game. “For the coming season, we have been scouting various players from the city. We watch various games of the Kanga League on Sundays. I have noticed a few players,” he says.
“The team has made such a big name for itself that losing in the finals was also a disappointment. This year’s selection will surely depend on who is doing well in the practice matches. I have shortlisted 4-5 young players who I cannot name. The final team depends on the coach and the captain,” he adds.
Paranjpe was a middle-order batsman who played briefly at the international level, but he has a solid record in first-class cricket where he has scored 3,964 runs in 96 innings with an average of 46.04 with one double-century to his name.