Ranji Trophy 2024: “Thrilled to have Shreyas Iyer”- Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane ahead of semi-final v Tamil Nadu

Ajinkya Rahane also talked about his own for with the bat.

Shreyas Iyer | BCCI

Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane was elated to have Shreyas Iyer in the squad for the upcoming semi-final of the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2024. The game will begin on March 2 at the BKC ground in Bandra, Mumbai.

Shreyas Iyer, who was recently left out of the BCCI central contracts, made himself available for the crucial tie. Along with Iyer, Ishan Kishan was also left out of the BCCI contracts for 2023-24. This was due to both of them missing their respective teams' Ranji matches, which violated the BCCI's regulations.

Shreyas was absent during Mumbai's quarterfinal against Baroda, citing back pain. Rahane said Shreyas would not require any extra motivation to do well for Mumbai against Tamil Nadu.

He's an experienced player. His contribution has been amazing whenever he turned up for Mumbai. We are thrilled to have him on our team for the semifinal. I don't think he needs any encouragement or advice. He has always contributed with the bat for Mumbai, and him being around other players in the dressing room will also help the team's cause,” Rahane told the media at the BKC Ground.

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Rahane also spoke about his form with the bat, as he has made 115 runs from six matches at an average of 12.77 with a lone fifty.

It's just a phase and you have to respect it (not scoring runs). When you're batting well and scoring runs, it happens consistently. There's nothing wrong with my batting. I just have to remain positive and back my game and instinct. I just have to go out there and play freely. I feel as a player you have to be confident and respect a phase, move forward, and learn whatever you can. You don't want to go too far ahead,” he added.

Rahane confirmed that opener Prithvi Shaw has recovered from a finger injury which had forced him to bat in the middle-order during the quarterfinal. Shaw has made 389 runs from four matches at an average of 64.83.

His finger was hurt, that's why he came down the order. We wanted him to go before Musheer (Khan). But obviously, because of the injection's effect, he had to go after him. Prithvi is really aggressive and he gets those runs very quickly. As a batsman, I don't think he (has) changed much. He's hungry to score runs. That's what we want from Prithvi. We don't want him to change his game,” Rahane said.

He said Mumbai will adopt a pressure-free approach in this game.

“We are playing really well. We don't want to think about the quarterfinal, semifinal, or final. It is just another game for us. If we can do that and be in the moment as a team and individuals, it will help us,” Rahane noted.

(PTI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 01 Mar, 2024

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