Ranji Trophy: Mumbai hopes to bounce back against Andhra

Mumbai takes on Andhra in a Ranji Trophy Group C match commencing at the C.S.R. Sarma College ground here from Friday.

Andhra's P. Vijay Kumar during his team's practice session on the eve of the Ranji Trophy match against Mumbai in Ongole.   -  Kommuri Srinivas

Mighty Mumbai may be down, but not out. So suggested its skipper Aditya Tare on the eve of its Ranji Trophy Group C match against Andhra commencing at the C.S.R. Sarma College ground here from Friday.

“We have seen tough times but we know how to bounce back. There’s enough quality in this side to ensure that,” stressed the wicket-keeper batsman when referring to its third position on the points table. Alluding to the narrow escape from defeat against Baroda in its last outing, he said, “We had a great last day. Our batsman stood up to the challenge.”

Tare's Andhra counterpart G. Hanuma Vihari was no less upbeat. “Right from the outset, in the opening match against Tamil Nadu, Andhra was seen as the underdog. Since then we have been dominating every side we faced and it will be no different against Mumbai,” the home side’s captain emphasised.

“Right through our ranks, our motto has been to dominate. In most contests we looked good enough to win. The boys see victory as the common goal first rather than merely taking the first innings lead. So it is imperative to put a check on Mumbai in this game.

“My contributions mean little unless they help meet the team’s goals. So for personal performance I will need to start afresh from here,” said the prolific-scoring top-order batsman.

His optimism was shared by coach K. Sanath Kumar and manager M. S. Kumar. “The boys are all pumped up. They are keen to enjoy every session and do well,” said Sanath.

“The momentum has been really favourable. We have come out on top in each session so far because the players have been backing each other, which is so vital in a team game,” said Kumar.

“We are not overawed by big names nor are we influenced by Mumbai hitting a low. We look to be positive and give off our best,” added Kumar.

Andhra has two wins and a loss at this venue, with the track expected to favour the pacemen early and the batsmen thereon. The host will be without D. Siva Kumar, who had over two dozen wickets from those games, but is sidelined now with a groin injury.

It will however have the experience of seasoned war horse Paidikalva Vijay Kumar to fall back on and the skiddy pace of Bandaru Ayyappa and the nippy Prithvi Raj to bolster its bowling strength.

The teams (from):

Mumbai:  Aditya Tare (captain, wicket-keeper), Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shardul Thakur, Siddhesh Lad, Minad Manjrekar, Akash Parkar, Karsh Kothari, Jay Bista, Aditya Dhumal, Prithvi Shaw, Akhil Herwadkar, Sufiyan Shaikh. Coach: Sameer Dighe. Manager: Ganesh Iyer.

Andhra: G.H. Vihari (captain), K.S. Bharat (vice-captain, wicket-keeper), D.B. Prasanth Kumar, Ricky Bhui, N. Jyothi Sai Krishna, B. Sumanth, M. Praneeth, D.B Ravi Teja, Ashwin Hebbar, P. Vijay Kumar, B. Ayyappa, K.V. Sasikanth, Karhik Raman, Bhargav Bhatt, Y. Prithvi Raj, Shoaib Mohd. Khan, M.U.B. Sriram. Coach: K. Sanath Kumar. Manager: M.S. Kumar.

Match referee: Col. Sanjay Verma. Umpires: Amish Saheba, Ulhas Gandhe.


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