Mumbai, Rest of India Irani Trophy match in Rajkot from tomorrow

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Rajkot, Oct 5 (UNI) A keen battle is on the cards as Mumbai take on Rest of India in a five-day Irani Trophy match at the Madhav Rao Scindia Cricket Stadium beginning here from tomorrow.

''The boys have played good cricket recently but will have to work hard,'' Mumbai Skipper Amol Muzumdar said while speaking to reporters here today after the net practice.

The youngsters had played good cricket in Pakistan during the Mohammad Nissar Trophy, Muzumdar said adding that Prashant Naik, Abhishek Nayar and Ajinkya Rahane have all slammed centuries against Karachi Urban.

Muzumdar informed that Nilesh Kulkarni does not figure in the side since he had signed with ICL. Iqbal Abdullah would play and fill Kulkarni's gap, Muzumdar said.

The Mumbai skipper said the little bit of grass on the pitch would help the seamers initially. ''We haven't yet decided to play with two spinners in this match,'' he said while replying to a question.

Mumbai will be strengthened by the presence of Ajit Agarkar and Wasim Jaffer in their 15-member squad. Agarkar was part of India's World Twenty20 winning team and has not been picked for the first three ODIs against Australia.

Rest of India Team captain Mohd Kaif said there was not much difference in the wicket in which India 'A' had played last week against South Africa 'A' and beat them by one run. Little bit of grass would help the seamers initially, he said adding the wicket might turn later.

''All the players are in good form and have played good cricket during the last couple of months,'' Kaif said. ''These guys have played good cricket against Kenya, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe,'' he added.

The Rest of India team has been strengthened with the inclusion of medium fast bowlers Ranadeb Bose and Munaf Patel.

In the Irani Trophy, Mumbai has won on 15 occasions whereas the Rest of India has won 18 times. Karnataka has won on four occasions.

Teams (from): Rest of India: Mohammad Kaif (capt), Parthiv Patel (wk), Aakash Chopra, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, Cheteshwar Pujara, Manoj Tiwary, Arjun Yadav, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Ranadeb Bose, Ishant Sharma, Yo Mahesh.

Mumbai: Amol Muzumdar (capt), Wasim Jaffer, Sahil Kukreja, Vinayak Mane, Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar, Prashant Naik, Hiken Shah, Ajit Agarkar, Iqbal Abdulla, Omkar Gurav (wk), Dhaval Kulkarni, Aavishkar Salvi, Rajesh Verma, Vikrant Yeligati.


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