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Change in Ranji team for Mumbai tie

Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) on Monday made one change in the state Ranji team for the Mumbai tie beginning from December 6.

Wicketkeeper and opener Subrata Ghosh replaced Shasheem Rathor in the 15-member squad that managed only one point against Gujarat in the last Ranji fixture that concluded at Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur on Sunday.

JSCA secretary and senior selection panel convener Rajesh Verma confirmed this.

“Some of the boys are not performing according to expectations. But, the senior selection panel today made only one change to the side,” Verma said.

According to sources, the name of medium-pacer Ashish Kumar was also discussed during the meeting. Initially, the selectors were thinking about dropping one of the medium-pacers — Rahul Shukla, Varun Aaron, Ayaj Yadav and S.S. Rao — to make way for Ashish.

“Ashish has performed consistently well in the Under-25 Col CK Nayudu Trophy, but did not find a place in the team,” said an official of Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA).

Sources, however, said the selectors ultimately decided to not make too many changes before the Mumbai match.

“A number of players, including batting mainstay Ishank Jaggi, have not performed to their potential so far. But, three-four changes at this stage would have disturbed the team’s balance. Mumbai is a strong opponent, and Jharkhand will need experienced players for the match,” said another JSCA official on condition of anonymity.

In fact, ahead of the Gujarat match too, the selectors had made one change in the squad. Wicketkeeper S.P. Gautam made way for Pappu Kumar Singh, who was part of the Under-25 outfit.

Gautam, on the other hand, was included in the Under-25 team for the tourney against Kerala which ended in Ranchi on Monday.

Jharkhand has so far cut a sorry figure in Ranji Trophy. The Shahbaz Nadeem-led team has lost two matches — against Haryana and Odisha — and managed to draw two in the five matches it has played so far.

In the last match too, Jharkhand conceded three vital points to Gujarat even as their match ended in a tame draw. With three points, Jharkhand is currently at the bottom of Group A.

Southpaw Saurabh Tiwary is the only player, who has been performing consistently.

The Jamshedpur-based former Ranji skipper has totalled 485 runs from four matches. Opener Rameez Nemat has scored in patches, and needs to add more solidity to the team as a frontline batsman.

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