Mumbai: Mumbai will be without their captain Ajit Agarkar for the Irani Cup tie against the Rest of India because of a groin injury.
“Agarkar has been ruled out of the match because of a groin injury, which he picked up during the final. The team will be led by Abhishek Nayar, but there won’t be any replacement for Ajit,” said Mumbai Cricket Association’s joint secretary Nitin Dalal.
Meanwhile, Suresh Raina wants to utilise the Irani match to stake his claim for the Test squad.
“I have been scoring runs in the last 10 matches. I need to do well in this game… I need to use this chance so that I can make a comeback to the Test squad. I am really focused and I am looking forward,” Raina said.
The Rest players practised at the Wankhede on Monday without the likes of captain Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Vijay and Manoj Tiwary.
“I am working hard and batting well. I am hoping to score big. Then only I will get a chance to play in the Test series against Australia),” Raina said.
The middle-order batsman said he got tips from VVS Laxman on how to bat with tail-enders.
“I spent a lot of time with him. We played three Test matches in West Indies. He told me that you need to earn the respect from tail-enders.
“He said ‘You are batting with tail-enders… They tend to play big shots. But if you trust them when they are batting with you then just talk to them whenever you get the chance. If they can spend time with you, then you can easily get 60-80 extra runs for the team,” said Raina, adding “over the years I have learnt how to bat with the tailenders.”
India host Australia in a four-Test series, the first of which starts in Chennai from February 22.
Asked about off-spinner Harbhajan’s recent claim that India would make a clean sweep against Australia, Raina said: “I am not looking at 4-0. I am concentrating on this match and I am trying to do well against Mumbai. If I come back to the Test team, then definitely we will try to defeat them.”