Still searching for maiden win, Mumbai to take on Gujarat
Domestic giants Mumbai will be eyeing their maiden win of this Ranji Trophy season, when they take on Gujarat in an Elite Group A game here on...
Mumbai: Domestic giants Mumbai will be eyeing their maiden win of this Ranji Trophy season, when they take on Gujarat in an Elite Group A game here on Wednesday. 41-times Ranji champions Mumbai has played two games this season -- one against Railways in New Delhi and another against Karnataka in Belagavi -- and both the games ended in a draw.
While Mumbai took the first innings lead against Railways and grabbed three points, they settled for a point against Karnataka after conceding the first innings lead. Thus when the players led by pacer Dhawal Kulkarni take the field at their home turf -- the Wankhede Stadium -- they are expected to strive for an outright win.
Despite the absence of key players like Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer, who are on national duty, Munbai still have depth in their batting. For the hosts, openers Akhil Herwadkar and Jay Bista, 'crisis man' Siddesh Lad and experienced duo of wicket-keeper batsman Aditya Tare and Surya Kumar Yadav -- need to fire big.
Young batsman Armaan Jaffer, who is making a comeback to the Ranji Trophy squad after hitting an triple hundred in U23 match, will be looking to make most of the opportunity, if he given a chance in the final eleven. Mumbai coach Vinayak Samant would be pleased with the performance of all-rounder Shivam Dube, who is among runs and also taking wickets. Dube's role will be crucial and he would like to continue from where he left in Belgavi. The medium-pacer picked seven wickets in the first essay.
On the bowling front, Mumbai have a potent attack with likes of Dhawal and medium pacer Tushar Deshpande and spinners Karsh Kothari and Dhurmil Matkar. On the match eve, Mumbai skipperDhawal said Gujrat has got good set of players in their team.
On the inclusion of Armaan in the team, Dhawal said, "Armaan is in good form and he has made a 300 and it's not a small thing in U23 age group and he is looking confident and even we are confident, if he plays tomorrow he will do well. "
Senior Mumbai batsman are not among runs and according to Dhawal he has spoken to them. "Yes I have had a word (with senior batsmen). They are senior players and it is their responsibility to take their game one step up and everybody does make mistakes and it's right time to rectify them," added Dhawal. On the other hand, Gujarat, who tasted victory in their first game against Baroda, will also be looking to get back to winning ways.
In their opening match of the season, Gujarat thrashed Baroda by nine wickets, but then settled for 2 consecutive drwan matches, against Chhattisgarh and Saurashtra respectively. Gujarat skipper Priyank Panchal said that the match will be a "good challenge and contest" for them and Mumbai. Gujarat will miss the services of Parthiv Patel, who is on the national duty but Panchal played down his absence.