Chennai: The Z R Irani Trophy for the TVS Cup commencing on Thursday between Ranji champions Mumbai and the Rest of India provides a platform for the fringe players to get a berth in the two teams that will play three-day matches against the visiting New Zealanders. According to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary S K Nair, the Board President's XI and the India 'A' teams to play the Kiwis would be selected during the Irani Trophy match here while the Indian team for the first Test would be picked during the three-day tie between the Kiwis and India 'A' to be played from October 2 to 4 at Rajkot.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai team captained by Sachin Tendulkar showed seriousness in its approach to perform well for clinching the trophy during the over four-hour practice session and physical conditioning at the M A Chidambaram stadium on Tuesday. Tendulkar, who was on the field all through the session despite the hot and humid conditions, said he would speak to the press on Wednesday after the practice.
Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit said Tendulkar's coming back to lead the team in the season's inaugural domestic match would boost the spirit of his players. "The young players in the teams will be fully charged up to perform against the full strength of the Indian senior team," he said.
The Bombay/Mumbai team, which clinched the inaugural Irani trophy in 1959-60 beating Rest of India at Delhi, and the Rest of India have so far won the prestigious event for 15 times each. Karnataka (four times), Delhi (twice) and Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, Haryana and Railways once each were the winners during the last 43 years of existence of the event, which was not held in 1960-61, 1961-62 and 1979-80.