BCCI asks Ashwin, Ishant to rest
Mindful of player workloads, the Indian team management has asked R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma to sit out of the third round of Ranji Trophy matches starting November 20.
The move is to have them fresh and ready for the team's only four-day fixture in Australia ahead of the Test series. The Test specialists are due to fly out on November 24, with the match slated to begin four days later. The first Test is slated for December 6 in Adelaide.
Among the bowling group, only Mohammed Shami has been permitted to play, that too with a rider that he should bowl no more than 15 overs, with the possibility of a "few extra overs" if needed.
Ishant has recovered from an ankle injury and featured for Delhi in their opening fixture against Himachal. In all, he bowled 28.3 overs across both innings for match haul of 4 for 82.
Meanwhile, Ashwin, no more a limited-overs regular, hasn't had much cricket since the West Indies Tests finished on October 14. He played two List A Deodhar Trophy matches and Tamil Nadu's Ranji opener against Madhya Pradesh, where he took 4 for 85 in 38.4 overs in the first week of November.
Karnataka depleted further without Karun Nair
Once the state's batting core not too long ago, Karnataka won't have the services of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, R Samarth, Manish Pandey and Karun Nair for the second fixture against Mumbai in Belagavi.
Nair, the designated vice-captain, is set to lead India A for the second and third four-day fixtures in New Zealand, of which Samarth and Agarwal are a part. Rahul and Pandey, meanwhile, are in Australia with India's T20I squad. While Rahul is set to miss out on the entire season, Pandey will be available for the second half of the season as he is free of national commitments at the time.
Mumbai too will be without Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer. Shaw is currently with India A in New Zealand while Iyer is part of the T20I squad in Australia.