Mumbai 500: From the eyes of the opposition

Former and current Ranji cricketers - Salim Durani, Javagal Srinath, W. V. Raman and Parthiv Patel - were among the 41-time champion's fiercest rivals over the years.

Sachin Tendulkar Wasim Jaffer Ranji Trophy Mumbai

Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Jaffer were among the greatest players to play for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy.

Mumbai is gearing up to play in its 500th Ranji Trophy match against Baroda at the Wankhede stadium on Thursday. Ahead of the historic occasion, former Ranji stalwarts have their say on what it was to go up against the great Mumbai teams' of years gone by.

Salim Durani - Rajasthan

Bombay of my times was always a very talented side and a great competitor. It competed and never gave in. Their youngsters got opportunities and could look up to many great players and learn. Some of the Bombay players played for Rajasthan, like Vijay Manjrekar and Subhash Gupte. Ajit Wadekar was a very talented and intelligent cricketer. He was very calm and composed. I think I played against Bombay in seven matches.

Javagal Srinath - Karnataka

Bombay has always had a head start in everything as for as India is concerned. And cricket is no exception. They were the first one to really bring professionalism into the sport.

It was more of an emotional game for many, but for Bombay, it was an absolute thorough professional one. To play the game in the meanest form and put the opponents at bay, Mumbai would know how to do it. It took a while for the other teams to understand. No wonder Mumbai has won the title innumerable times.

Mumbai was the first team to possess the cricketing culture, in terms of having proper teams, clubs and gymkhanas, the regular leagues and with it the competitiveness. The others did have it, but in bits and pieces. Mumbai was complete in that sense.

When you play Mumbai for the first time, the feeling that you are going to win against them does not come so easily. It has to be out of real hard work. Going by the average, Mumbai was always ahead.

Mumbai started to lose because its best players were playing for India. Any team that is as good will also have its own sufferings. The second best team will never be able to make it to the standard of the five or six players (who are on national duty). These players will always be kind of replacement players and this might not instill confidence and conviction to them.

Mumbai has reached the semifinals and finals more than the other teams and hence they should be the team that has played maximum matches. If I was asked today, which is the No. 1 team from the inception of first class cricket or Ranji Trophy, that would be Mumbai.

W. V. Raman - Tamil Nadu

You were up against a unit (Mumbai) which played with pride, grit and ferocity. The remarkable thing is that these attributes existed in teams of all generations. No wonder they have a staggering record in Indian cricket.

Parthiv Patel - Gujarat

Mumbai has always been benchmark in Indian cricket. It has a cricketing culture different from every other team. It knows how to win from any situation. I have always enjoyed playing against them and with bit of success as a player right from junior cricket.

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