When India take on England in the first cricket Test at Ahmedabad from November 15, home team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be the only top player who would not play the opening round Ranji Trophy fixture unlike his other colleagues.
The first round of the Ranji Trophy will be played across various centres from November 2-5 but the Indian captain who hasn't played for his state even once in last five years has decided against playing Jharkhand's opening match against J&K in Srinagar.
"For the last six or seven years, I have been playing for India regularly and this time the local association asked me whether I was fit or not. I told them that I have cough and cold and not to consider me for selection," Dhoni stated in a matter-of-factly manner at the opening of fitness training centre in a South Delhi mall.
For the record, current India players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Ishant Sharma and Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina will be playing in the Delhi versus UP game in Ghaziabad.
Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan will be playing for Mumbai against Railways while Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Pragyan Ojha are set to play in the game between Hyderabad and Punjab. Ravichandran Ashwin will be playing for Tamil Nadu in Orissa. Cheteshwar Pujara will be playing for Saurashtra against Gujarat while Umesh Yadav is supposed to play for Vidarbha against Haryana at Rohtak.
Ranji Trophy (Opening Round) (Key Stars & Test hopefuls)
Mumbai vs Railways: Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane
Delhi vs UP: Sehwag, Gambhir, Ishant, Kohli, Raina
Tamil Nadu vs Orissa: Ashwin, Mukund, Vijay
Saurashtra vs Gujarat: Cheteshwar Pujara
Punjab vs Hyderabad: Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Pragyan Ojha, Rahul Sharma
Vidarbha vs Haryana: Umesh Yadav, Amit Mishra
Bengal vs Rajasthan: Manoj Tiwary, Ashok Dinda.