Since Sachin Tendulkar looked rusty in the recently concluded New Zealand series and was bowled thrice in a row, the Irani Cup tie scheduled between September 21 and 25 could be an opportunity for the batsman to get back into the groove.
With the selection committee scheduled to
meet here on Monday to pick the Rest of India team, all eyes are on Tendulkar, whether he will make himself available. However, what will make the job tougher for the selectors will be the shortage of options as most leading players will be involved in the upcoming World Twenty20 and the India 'A' tour of New Zealand. The World Twenty20 kicks off in Sri Lanka on September 18 while India 'A' tour New Zealand in September-October.
The new venue for the Irani Cup though is yet to be decided by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the Sawai Mansingh Stadium at Jaipur, the original venue, was deemed unplayable.
Former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad believes Tendulkar should not play in the Irani Cup as it won't help him as much as it would any youngster.
"There is nothing immediate for Tendulkar at the moment. He should take rest as a series of international assignments are lined up for him in the months to come (The four-Test home series against England starts on November 15)."
"In fact, the Irani Cup should be rescheduled to ensure India 'A' players get the opportunity to play," Gaekwad added.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra said: "If Sachin decides to play, then it's the best thing for the event, but if he decides to skip then too it's a good call."