As the Indian team came out to field on Day One at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday, Mumbai lost an enviable record it had held for 43 Tests. For the first time in the history of Test cricket in the city, there wasn’t a Mumbaikar on the team-sheet.
Shardul Thakur, who was roped in as a replacement for Mohammad Shami, was included in the squad on Wednesday, but the Mumbai speedster failed to earn a place in the playing XI. He was, however, released on Friday and will join the Mumbai Ranji team for Day Three’s play. Mumbai U-23 ace batsman Jay Bista was drafted in the Indian team reserves. (SCORECARD)
Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar who led the team in 10 Tests, and Pravin Amre, both blamed the situation on bad luck. “There were two players who were certain to be a part of this Test — Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma. It’s unfortunate that they both are injured but then, that’s part and parcel of the game,” said Vengsarkar, who was the first player to score three centuries against England at Lord’s.
Amre echoed Vengsarkar’s words. “Rahane was the vice-captain and he was a part of the squad. It’s extremely unfortunate for him to miss out and he suffered the injury right before the Test. Even Rohit Sharma, is out with injury,” he said. (DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS)
Ironically, it was at the Bombay Gymkhana in Mumbai back in 1933 that India played its first Test match against England. It was also the only time the ground hosted an international Test match. Two more stadiums — Brabourne and Wankhede, both in South Mumbai — have held the other 42 Test matches between them. The last time a match was played at the Brabourne Stadium, was however, back in 2009 when India beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 24 runs. The ongoing Test at the Wankhede Stadium is the 25th match being played at the ground.