Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Siddhesh Lad banks on pace-heavy Mumbai

Mumbai batsman Siddhesh Lad believes the arrival of pace express Tushar Deshpande has added sheen to the bowling attack spearheaded by Dhawal Kulkarni.

Siddhesh Lad is confident that Mumbai will produce a good show in the upcoming Ranji Trophy. (File Photo)   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Post the Vijay Hazare Trophy snatch, Mumbai reinstated the ‘favourite’ tag in the domestic season.

Ahead of the Ranji Trophy opener against Railways, middle-order batsman Siddhesh Lad — better known as the ‘crisis man’ for staging recoveries from the dead — feels the bowling department is likely to turn heads in the four-day red-ball tournament.

“The Hazare win has given us a lot of confidence. We won it after 12 years, and this is what we wanted. This time, we are a good bowling side too. It was one area where we lacked a bit. Tushar (Deshpande) was always a good bowler. He was injured for the last two seasons. Now that he is back, we are confident that Dhawal (Kulkarni) and Tushar will lead the pace attack well,” Lad told Sportstar on Tuesday.

READ: Ranji-bound Tare reflects on Hazare triumph

Kulkarni and Deshpande shared 33 wickets between them in the recently concluded Hazare.

Mumbai made a few changes this season. Shreyas Iyer took over the captaincy reins from Aditya Tare and new coach Vinayak Samant tasted success in his debut assignment.

“We didn’t do anything different. We just spent some time together, the team gelled well. We almost had a full side in the knockouts after so many years. Shreyas keeps things simple. He always plans in team meetings. It worked for us,” he added.

In the Hazare final against Delhi, Lad once again lived up to his moniker. When Mumbai was reeling at 40-4, he stitched a 105-run stand with Tare to get the job done.

“I wasn’t getting a chance to bat in Hazare as the top order performed constantly. I was confident about my batting that day. Tare and I hardly spent time in the tournament but we ended up batting well in that match,” said Lad, who smashed 652 runs at an average of 59.27 in the last Ranji season.