Do Ranji Trophy runs matter?

IPL seems to be helping players break into the national team but then what is the reason behind playing Ranji Trophy?

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Ranji Trophy | Do Ranji Trophy runs matter? | Sportz Point
After performing brilliantly throughout the season in the Ranji Trophy, players are not getting selected. (Image - The Indian Express)

Do Ranji Trophy runs matter?

Ranji Trophy | Do Ranji Trophy runs matter? | Sportz Point
After performing brilliantly throughout the season in the Ranji Trophy, players are not getting selected. (Image - The Indian Express)
IPL seems to be helping players break into the national team but then what is the reason behind playing Ranji Trophy?

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There isn’t a single player who features in India’s squad for the World Test Championship final against Australia of the top 13 run-getters in the 2022/23 Ranji Trophy season. The batter who was 14th on the list of highest run-getters was Ajinkya Rahane. He got the call but not for performing in the Ranji Trophy. It was most likely for his aggressive batting performance in the first few matches of the IPL 2023.

Read Also: IPL 2023: “I told him If you bowl to me, I’ll hit you for six,” Shubman Gill warned this SRH bowler before the match

Rahane got selected and Ruturaj & Suryakumar Yadav are on standby for the WTC Final

He struck an unbeaten 71 off 29 balls for CSK against KKR two days before selection which must affect the selection. If he was on the radar of the selectors before the IPL season, he wouldn’t have been dropped from BCCI’s list of contracted players on March 25.

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Suryakumar Yadav are on standby for the WTC Final against Australia. Both of whom featured last season in the country’s premier first-class competition. While Gaikwad was involved in four games for Maharashtra, Yadav played twice for Mumbai. And neither of them had a brilliant first-class record to show. If any of the batters in the Test squad gets injured ahead of the WTC Final, it is one of them who will be taking guard against the Aussies.

Does Ranji Trophy matter?

Where does this leave players like Sarfaraz Khan, Arpit Vasavada, Abhimanyu Easwaran, and Priyank Panchal? What is the reason then to play Ranji Trophy every season?

“T20s can’t be a basis for selection in 50-over cricket or Test cricket. That’s not a good thing. Selection based on IPL should be done only for T20s. Agar Ranji mein performance karne ke baad kuch nahi mile, toh faayda kya hai? Then, there is no point in scoring runs in domestic cricket. People will leave Ranji Trophy and focus on white-ball cricket and IPL,” said Bengal’s 24-year-old batter Sudip Gharami, who was the sixth-highest run-scorer in last season’s Ranji Trophy with 803 runs in ten matches.

Gujarat opener Panchal has been grinding for a decade-and-a-half now, but the closest he has come to an India appearance was in 2021 when he replaced an injured Rohit Sharma on the tour of South Africa. He’s still maintaining a high benchmark, aggregating 583 runs in just five games at an average of 116.6 in the 2022/23 Ranji campaign.

“It is difficult. I am also going through that situation now”. “For me, the challenge is to evolve given that cricket is evolving. All three formats are important right now. If others are performing in three formats and you are performing in only Ranji Trophy, then the others will get a chance before you. There is so much focus on strike rate now even in Test cricket. If you look at England, they are playing a different brand of Test cricket. So, the longer format is also heading in that direction. Earlier, a strike rate of 30 or 40 was fine. Now the demand is for the strike rate to be around 60 or 70,” said Panchal.

Read Also: PBKS vs DC: IPL 2023 Match Preview, Possible Lineups, Pitch Report, and Dream XI Team Prediction

Arpit Vasavada’s emotional statement about not getting the chance

“There’s a reason behind it. IPL is a tournament that international players take part in. But the only thing I don’t like is people performing in IPL getting chances in red-ball cricket. That shouldn’t be the case,” said the 34-year-old Arpit Vasavada.

Selection, of course, is an element of subjectivity and gut instinct. “See, what I feel is there’s always a reason that can be given,” said Vasavada. “We’ve seen players who have performed lesser than Sarfaraz or me. We can’t sometimes understand what the selectors want to do. If they want to not select you, they will always have a reason. And if they want to select you, they will always come up with a reason. The selection process is not in my control. As a cricketer, it obviously hurts when you perform for your team and the selectors don’t consider you. But I don’t have any complaints over selection because I have seen so many players performing so well and still not getting a chance.”

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