India’s new selection committee chairman Sandeep Patil, who is also Mumbai’s chief selector, yesterday, in his first senior selection meeting of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) appointed Agarkar as the new skipper for Mumbai’s first four Ranji matches. Agarkar led Mumbai in the limited-overs Vijay Hazare Trophy after former India Test opener Wasim Jaffer resigned at the end of the season. Last season, a disappointed Agarkar left the team in Cuttack and returned to Mumbai after being dropped from the playing XI. He consequently withdrew from the squad for the rest of the Ranji season.
When asked if the decision to pick Agarkar as captain for the first four matches gives out the impression to opponents that Mumbai are on a shaky wicket, Amre said: “Yes… definitely.”
“There are chances that this is perceived in different way, and the opposition teams would look to exploit such a situation. Across Mumbai’s cricketing history, I’ve never heard of a skipper being named for only a few matches. Ideally, we would always have one skipper for the entire season, and during my time (as coach) the thrust was on the availability of a player for the entire season. That player would be an automatic choice to lead Mumbai,” explained Amre even as he played up Mumbai’s prospects for the season.
“This could well be a new strategy though and four matches is not a small number. Mumbai has a lot of potential and we should be positive about things,” added Amre.