Fit for Mumbai but unfit for Mumbai Indians

Last Thursday, Surya Kumar Yadav was replaced from the Mumbai Indians' squad for the Champions League Twenty20 because he was “injured”. Come Wednesday, the most promising young batsmen in Mumbai cricket led a team in a Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) under-22 selection tournament.

Yadav, who impressed on his Ranji Trophy debut with 73 against Delhi last year, turned up for the Chandrakant Pandit XI on the opening day of their three-day affair against Dilip Vengsarkar XI in the Shalini Bhalekar memorial annual U-22 selection event.

Leading the team, Yadav, who had surgery on his fractured right middle finger on July 24, won the toss and put the opponents in to bat at the Oval Maidan. Not only did he field for the whole day, he also bowled 6.3 overs of medium pace.

However, according to a CLT20 statement on September 22, Yadav also joined the injury list, taking the number of injured MI players to eight. Since six of them were Indians, the CLT20 made an exception and allowed the Mumbai-based franchise to field an additional overseas player in their eleven.

Interestingly, the CLT20 technical committee went by the medical report submitted by the MI management, which said the player could not be match fit before September end.

“There is a significant weakness (in the grip of his right hand) and needs strengthening exercises for two weeks. The weakness may predispose him to refracture and needs to be remedied,” says the medical report dated September 15, a copy of which is with HT.

‘Yadav is fit’

So how can an unfit cricketer play in a selection trial? Chandrakant Pandit XI coach Deepak Patil shrugged off all doubts over his fitness. “He is fit and that is the reason he is on the field,” Patil told HT at the end of the day's play.

It was learnt that following a rehab, Yadav, who turned 21 a fortnight ago, resumed training on September 10. However, after he was examined by a medical expert on Sept 15, the IPL team ruled him out of the CLT20 during their preparatory camp.

Is it a case of an IPL team hiding a player's fitness or the player rushing his comeback after an injury? Watch this space.


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