Ranji Trophy: Faiz Fazal surprised by Mumbai’s tame surrender

“We thought they will put up some fight,” Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal admitted after his team’s innings win over Mumbai on Tuesday.

Job done: Vidarbha’s players walk back after defeating Mumbai in Nagpur on Tuesday.   -  S. Sudarshan

Their body language has been tentative, to say the least. Their tactics have been intriguing, at times abysmal. So mediocre has the Mumbai team looked right through the ongoing Ranji Trophy season that a majority of their oppositions in Elite Group A have been wondering how this doesn’t really look like a typical Mumbai team.

After Mumbai’s hopes of making it to the quarterfinal vanquished in the air with an annihilating loss by an innings and 145 runs to Vidarbha with more than four sessions to spare, one couldn’t help but ask Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal if it actually looked liked a Mumbai team.

REPORT | Vidarbha thrashes Mumbai

“Exactly (it doesn’t). We thought they will put up some fight but being bowled out under 35 overs, we didn’t really expect that. Credit obviously should be given to the way our spinners bowled,” Fazal said.

Poor shot-selection

Siddhesh Lad, who has been leading Mumbai for the last four games, had no hesitation in admitting that Mumbai lacked character and played reckless shots. “We lacked character in this game. It was a must-win game for us but we didn’t do what was required to win. I agree our shot-selection was extremely poor in this game.”

Wasim Jaffer's 178 on Day One was a "game changer," admitted Siddhesh Lad. Photo: PTI

 

While Fazal underlined Wasim Jaffer’s fluent 178 on the opening day was a “game-changer,” Lad credited the Vidarbha spinners for their discipline. “They bowled with discipline, which is extremely important on such wickets. They hardly gave any loose balls so we had to take our chances,” he said.

‘Disappointing season

Lad was disappointed with the overall season of the team, which has been winless so far, with two demoralising losses. “[It’s] disappointing, but it’s been a learning curve. We have got a lot to improve on and now all of us will sit down and discuss the areas to improve,” said Lad.

Read | Harvinder Singh: 'IPL helping India produce more pacers'

“It’s extremely important for us to learn the lessons and improve from hereon because if we don’t make it even to the knock-outs, Mumbai’s cricketers will find it difficult to be in the national reckoning. It’s a big loss for Mumbai cricket and as a captain, for me, it’s extremely disappointing to not make it to knock-outs.”