Dropped catch proves costly for Abdulla
Left-arm spinner excluded from final league game after crucial fielding lapse against Madhya Pradesh.
Left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla has been dropped for Mumbai's last Ranji Trophy league game against Gujarat, to be played at DY Patil Stadium from December 29. The game is crucial for Mumbai, who are placed fourth in the Group that will see the top three teams making it to the knock-out stage.
A day after Mumbai's thrilling win over Madhya Pradesh, the selectors brought in medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni in place of Abdulla. The Indore game that was dominated by medium pacers saw the left-arm spinner getting two wickets.
Surprisingly, the young left-arm spinner Vishal Dabolkar, who took the crucial catch of Ishwar Pandey in tense moments of the game, retained his place in the side. Abdulla, on the other hand, had earlier dropped the same batsman.
Fielding at third-man, he had judged the ball perfectly but still spilled the easy chance.
Had it not been for Dabolkar's catch later, Mumbai would have lost the game and wouldn't have any hopes of going past the league stage. Pandey's booming knock took MP within 7 runs of the winning target.
If a MCA selector is to be believed, Abdulla's dropped catch went against him and it was the reason he was left out. It is not the first time MCA selection committee has taken such a step. After Mumbai's game against Bengal, Kshemal Waingankar, who gave Wriddhiman Saha a reprieve, was dropped. After the life, the Bengal wicket-keeper batted 150 balls and Mumbai, who seemed set to record a outright win, had to settle for just three point.
MCA joint-secretary PV Shetty though denied that dropping the catch was the sole reason for leaving out the left-arm spinner.
Another member of the selection committee said that Abdulla's dropped catch made the call too close. "We need to send a strong message. If there is a major fielding lapse, action will be taken. If you see then those two catches would have haunt us. Kshemal dropped an easy chance against Bengal and we missed out first outright and here Abdulla dropped another," a selector said.
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