Mumbai, Dec 20: Sachin Tendulkar, struggling for runs in international cricket, has now opted not to play Ranji Trophy for Mumbai as they face Madhya Pradesh in their next game starting on December 22. However, Mumbai have been boosted by the return of left-arm speedster Zaheer Khan.
Before the start of the India-England Test series, Tendulkar had played for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy opener against Railways. The Master Blaster showed signs of returning to form with a fine century. But Tendulkar failed to get to his old ways in the recently concluded Test series which England won 2-1.
Tendulkar finished yet another Test series without a century and returned with just 112 runs in the four-match series. It would have been good for the cricket icon to get some runs by playing Ranji Trophy. But he has preferred to take a break from cricket. However, it is not clear whether he will play the next match for Mumbai which is from December 29.
Meanwhile, for Zaheer it will be a platform to regain his wicket-taking form. He was dropped from the India Test squad and questions are raised over his ability to do well again at the highest level.
Mumbai squad: Ajit Agarkar (captain), Wasim Jaffer, Kaustubh Pawar, Hiken Shah, Suryakumar Yadav, Abhishek Nayar, Aditya Tare, Zaheer Khan, Iqbal Abdullah, Nikhil Patil (Jr), Javed Khan, Dhaval Kulkarni, Sufiyan Shaikh, Ankit Chavan, Vishal Dabholkar.