The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) announced 31 probables on Monday, a little over three weeks before the start of their Ranji Trophy campaign. The list did not include prolific left-handed batsman Vinod Kambli.
Kambli, who has missed action for two seasons due to a foot injury, had featured among the probables last year. However, the 34-year-old, despite an average of 85 in domestic cricket, was not considered for selection by the selection panel headed by Dilip Vengsarkar.
"Kambli has not played any cricket for almost two years," Vengsarkar said. "Unless he proves his fitness, we cannot consider him. I think he has not recovered from his foot surgery."
As the Kanga League was almost washed out, the selectors chose to watch the league phase of the Times Shield before naming the probables. However, Shivaji Park Youngsters' medium-pacer Murtuza Hussain and Central Railway all-rounder Musaveer Khote were excluded despite consistent performance in the Times Shield.
While 20-year-old Hussain, last year's highest wicket-taker for Mumbai's under-19 team and the Man of the Series in the Shalini Bhalekar Trophy earlier this year, has picked eight wickets at an average of 24.37, Khote, apart from scores of 86, 51 and 34, has claimed nine wickets in three Times Shield matches.
Vengsarkar, who is also the chief national selector, said: "Murtuza will be called for practice even though he does not figure in the probables list. The reasoning being that many of the probables won't turn up for practice. So we will need good bowlers."
The former India captain added that Khote wasn't considered as "we have enough all-rounders in Mumbai". "Our fast bowlers are good too. So he did not make the cut," he added.
Will three weeks be enough?
Mumbai open their Ranji Trophy campaign against Bengal from December 1. So, the coach Pravin Amre will get barely three weeks to prepare the squad in their quest to regain the Ranji Trophy.
With leading players unlikely to be available for most part of the season due to international duties, will three weeks be enough for Amre to get his combinations right?
Amre certainly believes so. "I have been with most of the boys during the preparations for three One-dayers that Mumbai played against international sides prior to the Champions Trophy. So three weeks will be sufficient."
MCA secretary Lalchand Rajput echoed Amre's words. "As most of the players have been constantly playing cricket for the last few weeks, the time frame should be adequate."
Vengsarkar said: "You have to manage in whatever span you get, so there's no option."
The training will start at the MCA's ground at the Bandra-Kurla Complex from Tuesday.
The probables: Wasim Jaffer, Sahil Kukreja, Sushant Marathe, Vinayak Mane, Sachin Tendulkar, Amol Muzumdar, Rohit Sharma, Vinit indulkar, Nishit Shetty, Bhavin Thakkar, Prashant Naik, Praful Waghela, Hiken Shah, Omkar Khanvilkar, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Avishkar Salvi, Rajesh Verma, Usman Malvi, Swapnil Hazare, Kshemal Waingankar, Mundeep Mungela, Abhishek Nair, Wilkin Mota, Vinayak Samant, Omkar Gurav, Abhijeet Shetye, Nilesh Kulkarni, Ramesh Powar, Iqbal Abdullah, Aniket Redkar.