After starting its Ranji Trophy campaign with consecutive victories against Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad, Mumbai went down to Saurashtra in its last outing.
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But as the domestic giant gears up for a crucial game against Tamil Nadu, beginning on Tuesday at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane has a piece of advice for his teammates - play with the right attitude and give your best.
“You will win matches, you will lose matches. It is important how you go and play each and every game, and each and every session. That’s important,” Rahane said.
Not one to believe in knee-jerk reactions, Rahane categorically rubbishes the fact that the defeat against Saurashtra has created self doubt in the team. Rather, he finds all these talks ‘irrelevant’.
“Saurashtra played really well in the last game, and that’s why they won. There’s no self doubt and as a team we are confident. We respect every team and we know each team in our group really well and our focus is to play to our potential and back our strength and play with freedom,” Rahane added.
Despite having a star-studded batting line-up, comprising Rahane, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Sarfaraz Khan, Mumbai failed to chase down 280 against a Saurashtra side, which was missing the services of Jaydev Unadkat and Cheteshwar Pujara.
Taking lessons from the loss, Rahane believes that it is important to approach a game session by session. “Attitude matters the most irrespective of whether you win or lose. Four-day cricket is all about giving your best in every session. One session can turn the game away from you, so my advice to the team is to have a good attitude, give your best, and control the controllables,” Rahane said.
“For me, it’s about giving 100 per cent on the field, and that’s what I have always focused on. That’s what I expect from each and every individual… giving their 100 per cent and having a good attitude on the field and being in the moment rather than thinking about the result or the outcome. For me, it is about the process and giving our best as a team.”
With Suryakumar on India duty for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka, Mumbai is likely to bring back Armaan Jaffer in the team. “We have other players who can do well for us. Armaan did well in the first game, but unfortunately, he had to sit out because Surya came in his place. We have other players who can play and contribute for the team, which is a very good sign as a captain and the team management,” Rahane said, before adding with a smile, “It’s a headache to select the team sometimes, but I am happy that everyone’s preparing and playing well throughout.”
Out of the India reckoning, Rahane has had a decent campaign so far, hammering a double century against Hyderabad, before scoring just 24 and 16 in the previous game.
“Personally, I am batting really well. I just want to maintain the rhythm, just play by the merit of the ball. Play one session at a time and bat as long as possible. The aim is to do well for Mumbai and win matches for the team.”