He will leave for Bangalore today [Monday] to join his team ahead of their semi-final clash with Central Zone starting on Wednesday.
Mumbai pacer Tushar Deshpande. Pic/AShish Raje
Mumbai pacer Tushar Deshpande was working out at a gymnasium in Kalyan on Sunday afternoon when Mumbai Cricket Association’s Secretary, Ajinkya Naik informed him that he had to join West Zone’s Duleep Trophy team in Bangalore. Deshpande will replace injured Saurashtra left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya. He will leave for Bangalore today [Monday] to join his team ahead of their semi-final clash with Central Zone starting on Wednesday.
Deshpande, 28, who claimed 23 wickets in six Ranji Trophy games in the 2022-23 season, was part of Chennai Super Kings’s (CSK) IPL-winning squad. He claimed 21 wickets for the champions. However, he was not selected in the initial 15-member West Zone squad, something that this newspaper had highlighted.
“Thanks for highlighting my performance at the right time. I expected my name in the initial list, but did not expect today’s [Sunday] call. I will grab this opportunity and come up with my best bowling performance,” Deshpande told mid-day on Sunday. Meanwhile, Mumbai chief selector Raju Kulkarni revealed that the national selectors are keenly following Deshpande’s progress.
“Wickets will talk. Tushar has that speed. The national selectors conveyed to me that they are looking at Tushar’s performance keenly. There are very few bowlers in the West Zone who are bowling 140kmph-plus, so Tushar always has the advantage of that speed. The more wickets and match-winning performances he dishes out, the easier it will be to go further,” remarked Kulkarni. In 29 first-class matches so far, Deshpande has claimed 80 wickets.