Ranji Trophy 2023-24: Mumbai aims to continue winning run against Assam

Ranji Trophy 2023-24: This time around, Mumbai has earned itself a ticket to the quarterfinals with its last Group B league game against Assam, remaining.

Published : Feb 15, 2024 20:00 IST , MUMBAI - 2 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Mumbai’s Prithvi Shaw in action.
FILE PHOTO: Mumbai’s Prithvi Shaw in action. | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K/The Hindu

FILE PHOTO: Mumbai’s Prithvi Shaw in action. | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K/The Hindu

A Ranji Trophy title has eluded Mumbai since 2016. Over the last eight years, the team reached the final twice but failed to clear the last hurdle. This time around, the domestic giant has earned itself a ticket to the quarterfinals with its last Group B league game against Assam, beginning at the Sharad Pawar Cricket Academy ground on Friday, remaining.

However, the team management is wary of complacency and does not want to think too far ahead. “It’s too early to talk (about winning the title). We have three hurdles to cross before we reach the final and lay our hands on the trophy,” said Shardul Thakur, an India international and one of the key members of Mumbai.

Thakur missed out on a large part of the tournament due to an ankle injury during India’s tour of South Africa and returned to action during Mumbai’s previous outing against Chhattisgarh in Raipur. Though he didn’t have an impact with the ball, he chipped in with a 31-run innings. Throughout this campaign, the lower middle order has contributed significantly despite troubles in the top order.

Apart from a half-century against Chhattisgarh, captain Ajinkya Rahane hasn’t been among the runs, but the fact that Prithvi Shaw and young Bhupen Lalwani both scored centuries in the last outing would provide a bit of confidence to the team management. “We have a good opening pair now. We need No.3, No. 4 and No.5 to score runs as well,” Shardul said, adding: “…Mumbai is always known for winning knock-out games, that’s the standard the team has set over many years, so we will have that upper-hand in terms of playing knock-out games. It will help us…”

While Mumbai hopes to fix the weak links ahead of the knockouts, Assam - already out of contention - aims to play for pride. In the absence of its regular captain Riyan Parag, who is undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy following a shoulder injury, the young side led by 21-year-old Denish Das hopes to put up a fight against a star-studded Mumbai side that will be bolstered by the presence of Shivam Dube, who was rested for the last game.

Coming on the back of a nine-wicket victory against Bihar, Assam fast bowlers - led by Mukhtar Hussain - aim to make the most of the red-soil surface that promises to offer some bounce initially.

Mumbai: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Shivam Dube, Prithvi Shaw, Bhupen Lalwani, Amogh Bhatkal, Suryansh Shedge, Prasad Pawar, Hardik Tamore, Shardul Thakur, Shams Mulani, Tanush Kotian, Aditya Dhumal, Tushar Deshpande, Mohit Awasthi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Royston Dias.
Assam: Denish Das (captain), Sunil Lachit, Rahul Hazarika, Bishal Roy, Sarupam Purkayastha, Saahil Jain, Dibakar Johori, Rahul Singh, Parvej Musaraf, Mukhtar Hussain, Kunal Sarma, Abhishek Thakuri, Sumit Ghadigaonkar, Subham Mandal, Abdul Ajij Kuraishi.
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