He has led Uttar Pradesh to two Ranji Trophy finals in the last three seasons, has scored 1216 runs in the last two seasons, and yet, Mohammad Kaif strangely isn’t on the list of the 42 best cricketers in the country.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced squads for the Irani Cup and the Challenger Series, and Kaif, despite being a centrally contracted player with the BCCI, wasn’t in any of them.
Virender Sehwag will return to action with the Irani Trophy. The India opener, who has been on the sidelines since the Indian Premier League in May with a shoulder injury, has been named skipper of the Rest of India side that will face Mumbai in the traditional domestic season opener in Nagpur from October 1.
Sehwag will lead a team filled with players eager to make their mark and break into the national team.
Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, M. Vijay, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha have been given a chance to show what they’ve got ahead of what is a busy schedule for India.
While most others made the cut, Delhi opener Aakash Chopra, despite ending as one of the highest run-getters in the past seasons, has been left out.
The BCCI also announced the India Red, India Green and India Blue squads for the Challenger Series beginning October 8.
Shanthakumar Sreesanth, who has been out of international action for more than a year due to form and injury, has been included in the Challenger Series, and will hope to return national duty.