Ishant Sharma was left out of the Delhi Ranji team, after the lanky India fast bowler did not respond to calls from selectors. Ishant's coach, Shravan Kumar, though, believes the player should have informed the DDCA about his availability for the first Ranji match of the season.
With Ishant Sharma not picked for the T20 and the ODI series against South Africa, the fast bowler, who impressed in the last Test series against Sri Lanka, could have honed his skills by playing domestic cricket. Playing competitive cricket could have helped him maintain good fitness levels.
"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," Mid-day quoted Kumar as saying.
Kumar said he will get in touch with the bowler, who is currently preparing for the upcoming series against South Africa, to understand the problem.
However, DDCA chairman of selectors, Vinay Lamba, made it clear that he was forced to leave Ishant out of the squad for their opening match against Rajasthan on 1 October in Jaipur, as he was not aware of the bowler's availability.
"We tried reaching Ishant Sharma, but he didn't pick. I dropped a text but didn't get a reply. As of now I am not aware whether he wants rest or whatever, it's just that we didn't include his name because we were not aware about the status of his availability," Indian Express quoted Lamba as saying.
Ishant's coach also feels that the bowler wants to be in perfect shape for the South Africa series, even if the fast bowler will miss the first Test match through suspension.
"He might want to preserve himself and be absolutely ready for the Tests against South Africa," said Kumar.
Though Ishant's absence from the squad might have bagged huge headlines, two other players' omissions -- Rajat Bhatia and Pawan Negi -- were rather surprising, though the latter has been kept on stand-by.
Former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja is the current coach, while Gautam Gambhir will lead Delhi's Ranji side.
Squad: Gautam Gambhir (c), Unmukt Chand (vc), Vaibhav Rawal, Milind Kumar, Nitish Rana, Yogesh Nagar, Manan Sharma, Pulkit Narang, Sumit Narwal, Pawan Suyal, Sarang Rawat, Pradeep Sangwan, Parwinder Awana, Mohit Ahlawat, Dhruv Shorey.