Aditya Tare has been ruled out of the remainder of the Ranji Trophy after fracturing his finger during Mumbai’s quarterfinal against Uttarakhand. Prasad Pawar is set to join the squad as his replacement ahead of the semifinal against Uttar Pradesh, starting Tuesday.
Tare injured the finger while attempting a catch down the leg side off pacer Tushar Deshpande in Uttarakhand’s second innings. The scans later revealed a fracture, thus ruling Tare out at least for four weeks.
As a result, Hardik Tamore, the back-up wicketkeeper who led Mumbai to Col. C.K. Nayudu Trophy championship in April, is set to be drafted into Mumbai’s XI, with Pawar serving as the back-up ’keeper.
“It is unfortunate that we will miss Aditya’s experience. Prasad has been a part of the group during the Vijay Hazare Trophy, so the selection committee unanimously picked him in place of him,” Salil Ankola, Mumbai’s chief selector, said on Saturday.
Tare, who is Mumbai’s last Ranji Trophy-winning captain, returned to Mumbai on Saturday evening. He was confident that Tamore is ready to step up to the big-match pressure. “It is obviously disappointing to be missing out on the big matches but cannot do much about it since I am struggling to grip the bat. I am sure Hardik will come good in the crunch situation with the bat and behind the stumps,” Tare told Sportstar before leaving for the Bengaluru airport.
“I am confident that this Mumbai team has the wherewithal to go all the way and bring back the Ranji Trophy home.”
Pawar, 27, made his Mumbai debut during the Vijay Hazare Trophy when Tare was rested for the last league game against Pondicherry. But he will have to wait in the wings with Tamore being the frontrunner to don the gloves at Just Cricket Academy on Tuesday.
Tamore played four Ranji games during the 2019-20 season as specialist batter. With Tare leading the team back then, Tamore, a stylish right-handed batter, could not play the wicketkeeper’s role. The 24-year-old was a part of Mumbai’s Ranji squad for the league stage in February-March. Having just recovered from COVID and Tare being exceptional behind the wickets, Tamore had to wait for his chance. He will be hoping the most of the opportunity, that too in a Ranji semifinal, next week.