Mumbai came into the crucial Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match against Assam following a draw against Tamil Nadu in its previous game at home.
With the race for the qualification intensifying, Mumbai needed an outright win to keep its campaign on the right track.
And over the last four days, Mumbai rode on Prithvi Shaw’s first-innings score of 379 and Ajinkya Rahane’s 191 to put up a mammoth 687 for four. And then, it’s bowlers - Shardul Thakur and Shams Mulani - rattled that Assam batters as the home team suffered an innings and 128-run defeat.
Mumbai will travel to the national Capital on Saturday morning for its next away game against Delhi from January 17-20.
Happy with the team’s success, Mumbai coach Amol Muzumdar was excited to see Shaw’s innings and also lauded the team for pulling off a convincing win on a flat deck, which hardly aided the bowlers.
In a chat with Sportstar, Muzumdar said that he was surprised to see Assam putting Mumbai in to bat after winning the toss in such a ‘flat pitch’.
Excerpts from the Interview
Q) Your thoughts on the much-needed win?
A) Every game is important for us in the league stage. In our half, the teams are quite strong, and as things heat up in the Ranji Trophy, every game turns out to be important. This was no different. It was quite important to have that victory under the belt.
Q) What was your advice to Prithvi Shaw who went on to score 379?
A) There was no advice as such. It was just that he should bat as long as possible and that’s the only thing. He was batting beautifully and it was an amazing knock by Prithvi. I can very happily say that I was there to watch it!
Prithvi started so beautifully. If you see his shots, they were all around the ground, but most of them were at the square of the wicket. The pitch demanded that and I think he catered to the conditions beautifully. Once he got going, I did not say much but just reminded him that there is a good chance to convert it to a big score in these conditions.
Q) What was the team’s strategy coming into the game following a draw against Tamil Nadu?
A) Nothing, really. We all had discussed that on this kind of a pitch, we will have to adjust. We were coming from a game at the Cricket Club of India (Brabourne Stadium), so it was a different surface, and different soil here, so we had to play in a particular fashion here. You just could not put your foot down and drive through the line. You had to adjust to the conditions and bat in a particular fashion.
Q) Were you surprised when Assam decided to bowl first?
A) Actually, I was surprised. I thought we had won the toss! I was a bit surprised that they asked us to bat on this flat pitch, but that’s the way it is. Maybe, they felt that was the best opportunity they could get or whatever it was!
Q) What will be Mumbai’s approach in its next away game against Delhi?
A) Every game is crucial. Mumbai vs Delhi is always a good contest. Let’s get to Delhi and then we will take from there. I need to stay in Guwahati at the moment. (laughs).