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  5. Ranji Trophy 2024 round 2: Rahane fails, Pujara-Iyer shine, Bhuvneshwar takes five-fer

Ranji Trophy 2024 round 2: Rahane fails, Pujara-Iyer shine, Bhuvneshwar takes five-fer

With the upcoming five-match Test series against England in sight, Indian red-ball veterans Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteswhar Pujara, and in-form Shreyas Iyer are in focus in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2024 round two fixtures starting on Friday.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Published on: January 12, 2024 18:19 IST
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane
Image Source : GETTY Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane during a training session in London on August 31, 2021

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were in focus as the Ranji Trophy 2024 round two kicked off on Friday, January 12. With the upcoming Test series against England in mind, the veteran Test duo will get one final chance to prove their worth before the BCCI announces squad.

After missing the opening game against Bihar due to injury, Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane returned in the second match against Andhra at home. But the veteran Indian batter was dismissed on a golden duck by the rising pacer Nitish Kumar Reddy.

Rahane last played for India during the West Indies tour in July 2023 and was not in contention for the recent Tests against South Africa. Rahane scored one fifty against Tripura in the Vijay Hazare Trophy game last month but his current form looks not convincing enough to earn a national team return.

Despite Rahane's duck, Mumbai managed to score a total of 281/6 at the end of Day 1. Shreyas Iyer made an impact on his return by scoring 48 runs off 48 balls while the opener Bhupen Lalwani top-scored with 61 runs. Nitish Kumar shone with three wickets as the Andhra youngster continues to make the headlines in domestic cricket.

Meanwhile, the defending champions Saurashtra were bowled out on just 145 runs by Haryana on Day 1. The veteran Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 243* against Jharkhand in the first match, scored 49 runs off 100 balls to continue his rich form. Pujara's name remains in contention when the BCCI announces a squad for the England series.

In another low-scoring game, Bengal bowled out Nitish Rana-led Uttar Pradesh on just 60 runs on Day 1. But Uttar Pradesh made a good comeback with experienced pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking five wickets to stumble the opponent to 95/5 at the end of the day's play at Kanpur's Green Park.


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