Amol Muzumdar: ‘Nice to see Gen Next of Mumbai batsmanship taking over’

Coach Muzumdar is delighted as Mumbai makes it to the final of the Ranji Trophy for the first time since 2016-17.

Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a century in both innings to pave the way for Mumbai’s win.   -  K. Pichumani

Never during the eight Ranji Trophy finals that Amol Muzumdar participated in - seven in the playing eleven and the last one in 2008-09 as a reserve - did Mumbai lose the summit clash. On Saturday, Mumbai formalised its entry into the Ranji final for the first time since 2016-17, in Muzumdar’s first season as the head coach.

The domestic stalwart was obviously delighted with the team’s effort but passed on the credit to a largely young bunch.

“It’s an achievement. Every Ranji Trophy final is a big occasion for every youngster who comes into the team,” Muzumdar said after the last day’s play of the Ranji semifinal versus Uttar Pradesh.

“I am really happy with the form of all the batters and everyone included, all 11 who have been playing. They have been contributing from their end and it’s nice to see the Generation Next from the Mumbai batsmanship as you can call it taking over. Last couple of games, you have seen the demo of it.”

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‘We have set a process of our own in the dressing room and we would like to follow that process all throughout, till the last ball is bowled in the Ranji Trophy.’

Despite Muzumdar’s wealth of experience, along with that of assistant coaches Vishal Mahadik and Wilkin Mota, only two of Mumbai’s three members - veteran pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, captain Prithvi Shaw and pacer Tushar Deshpande (who was in the squad but wasn’t picked for the 2016-17 final) - have featured in a Ranji final.

Follow the process

But Muzumdar didn’t want to pressurise the young bunch with the pressure of dealing with a big match.

“This is a different generation you are dealing with here. I personally feel it is another game. We have set a process of our own in the dressing room and we would like to follow that process all throughout, till the last ball is bowled in the Ranji Trophy,” Muzumdar said.

“We haven’t looked at the quarterfinals or the semifinals or the finals. We have been just in that thought process and the process that we have followed throughout that’s been happening in the dressing room. There are systems that are working in the dressing room and we would like to follow. That was our commitment at the start of the season and we will maintain it till the last ball of the season.”

Interestingly, Mumbai’s opponent Madhya Pradesh is coached by Chandrakant Pandit. While Muzumdar was a vital cog in Mumbai’s line-up during Mumbai’s three-year stint starting 2002-03, the last two times Mumbai made it to the final (2015-16 and 2016-17) was also with Pandit at the helm.

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