After coming under fire for his over-the-top aggression in Sri Lanka, now Ishant Sharma's attitude seems to be a concern.
India's Ishant Sharma endures a challenging time during the Adelaide Test against Australia on December 10, 2014. Pic/Getty Images
The India pacer has been left out of the 15-member Delhi squad for their Ranji Trophy opener against Rajasthan on October 1 in Jaipur after he allegedly did not respond to phone calls and text messages from Delhi's chief selector Vinay Lamba. The fast bowler is preparing for the tough home season with his India teammates in Bangalore.
Ishant's childhood coach Shravan Kumar, who is also a member of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), is unhappy with his ward's attitude. "The chief selector wanted to know his availability for the Ranji Trophy match. He (Ishant) did not respond to them. As a professional cricketer, he should have ideally informed the selectors about his availability. It is possible that he could be in a training session when the selectors called him," Kumar told mid-day from New Delhi yesterday.
When informed that Ishant also did not respond to text messages, the coach said: "I don't know what has happened. I will try to get in touch with Ishant tonight to understand the issue." Delhi's chairman of selectors Lamba said that if Ishant confirms his availability, they would consider him for the Ranji Trophy opener.
"We tried contacting Ishant but neither did he pick up calls nor reply to our text messages. Also we don't know whether he can play a first-class match during the period of his ban (Ishant was slapped one-Test ban for his ugly send-offs during the Sri Lanka series). If he is eligible to play, we will add him to the squad," Lamba was quoted as saying by PTI.
Ishant could have rendered his services to Delhi, as he will join the Indian team only in November for the Tests after the national selectors did not consider him for the three-match T20 international series and the first three ODIs against the touring South Africans.
Ishant's coach, however, said, "He might want to preserve himself and be absolutely ready for the Tests against South Africa," said Kumar. The other notable exclusion from Delhi squad was veteran all-rounder Rajat Bhatia and left-arm spinner Pawan Negi. Bhatia's omission is speculated to be a result of a bitter equation the all-rounder shares with Delhi skipper Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir reportedly told the selectors that he cannot find a place for Bhatia in the playing XI and that is why the selectors have not considered him.
No place for Negi
Negi, who got his maiden call-up in the India 'A' squad for the upcoming T20 match against South Africa yesterday, was left out because the selectors felt Delhi stalwart Ajay Sharma's son left-arm spinner Manan was better suited for the longer format. With seniors like Virender Sehwag and Mithun Manhas deciding to play for other states and Ashish Nehra opting out of the first few Ranji matches, Delhi will rely immensely on their young guns to fire and make up for the void.
Delhi squad: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Unmukt Chand (vice-capt), Vaibhav Rawal, Milind Kumar, Kshitij Rana, Yogesh Nagar, Dhruv Shaurya, Manan Sharma, Pulkit Narang, Mohit Ahlawat (wk), Parvinder Awana, Sumit Narwal, Pradeep Sangwan, Pawan Suyal, Sarang Rawat.