Mumbai will look to make the most of the inspiring win against Tamil Nadu it registered early this week at Lahli. Its opponent this time, Baroda, is a team known for consistency, and this aspect makes the contest one to look forward to as they meet at the Palam ground in the Ranji Trophy league here from Thursday.
The win against Tamil Nadu was hard-earned on a grassy pitch. The surface here has less of green but the pitch can be expected to assist slow turn. The open ambience at the Palam adds to the old-world charm of the ground that lies close to the domestic airport. Obviously, Mumbai and Baroda have never played against each other at this venue.
For Mumbai, the presence of Shardul Thakur and Shreyas Iyer means a lot. Thakur returns after missing the first match due to his selection in the India Test squad while the talented Iyer has recovered from an injury to renew his quest for national selection.
As Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit observed, “The conditions are neutral and alien too for both the teams. Advantage and disadvantage are for both. We won a fine contest (against Tamil Nadu) and are looking forward to Baroda. They are a competitive side and no team can afford to be complacent at this level. Iyer and Thakur add to the strength of the team in batting and bowling. There is a bit of grass on the pitch but not as Lahli. Batting was a test of skills in Lahli.”
Baroda, which conceded the first innings lead in its last match against Gujarat despite compiling 544 for eight, begin with the disadvantage of not having the Pandya brothers in the squad. Hardik will be in Dharamsala with the India team for the first One Day International against New Zealand to be played on October 16, while Krunal has fitness issues. The two have been replaced by off-spinner Soaeb Tai and seamer Murtuja Vahora.
Baroda (from): Irfan Pathan (captains), Kedar Devdhar, Aditya Waghmode, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Swapnil Singh, Soaeb Tai, Pinal Shah (wicket-keeper), Gagandeep Singh, Munaf Patel, Murtuja Vahora, Dhiren Mistry, Sagar Mangalorkar and Vishnu Solanki.
Mumbai (from): Aditya Tare (captain), Akhil Herwadkar, Jay Bista, Shreyas Iyet, Kaustubh Pawar, Abhishek Nayar, Suryakumar Yadav, Balwinder Singh Sandhu (Jr), Tushar Deshpande, Shardul Thakur, Vijay Gohil, Armaan Jaffer, Nikhil Patil (Jr), Sufiyan Shaikh and Vishal Dabholkar.
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