Ranji-bound Tare reflects on Hazare triumph 

Mumbai wicketkeeper-batsman Aditya Tare, who started his cricket with Wasim Jaffer and Ajit Agarkar, still dreams of playing Test cricket for India.

Aditya Tare scored 71 off 89 balls to help Mumbai chase down 178 from a 40/4 situation against Delhi in the Vijay Hazare final.   -  Sudhakara Jain

On paper, Aditya Tare made his List A and first-class debut in 2008-09 and 2009-10 respectively, but the wicketkeeper-batsman prefers to highlight his domestic career from 2012-13 — Mumbai’s 40th Ranji Trophy title season.

Tare, who led Mumbai till the last calendar, helped his side break the 12-year jinx in the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Saturday. His 71 off 89 balls helped the domestic powerhouse chase down 178 from a 40/4 situation against Delhi in the final.

READ: Mumbai downs Delhi for third Vijay Hazare title

In a conversation with Sportstar, Tare discussed the importance of starting the season with a win, Mumbai’s ‘must-win’ culture and the upcoming Ranji Trophy. Excerpts...

You are about to complete a decade in domestic cricket. How does that feel and what are your thoughts on starting the season with a win?

I wasn’t consistent in the first five years of my career. My first-class debut happened in 2009 but after that, I played after a gap of three years. I became a regular from the 2012-13 season, and I like to count from there. So, this is my seventh season. The Hazare triumph is a phenomenal achievement. We have been missing out on the one-day trophy for 12 years. To do that this season is a great achievement.

"The thrill and the excitement to play for Mumbai is something different. You have history behind and the expectations are high; anything without a championship title is considered a failure, the standard is that high. There is a lot of pride when we step into the field."

 

Mumbai also remained unbeaten...

We won all our games easily and comfortably, which one should be proud of. We were in control and a lot of credit goes to the bowling unit. They put us on the frontfoot. They have given us easy targets to achieve. When you have the likes of Ajinkya (Rahane), Shreyas (Iyer) and Prithvi (Shaw) playing 80 per cent of the games, it is a big boost. But for me, the highlight has been the bowlers.

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Did the presence of Rohit (Sharma) and Rahane bring out the best in others?

It does add to the strengh of the team. They have so much experience and their ability at this level is phenomenal. It gives you the confidence to overthrow any opposition.

How much do you think you have evolved as a cricketer coming from the dressing room which had legends like Wasim Jaffer, Amol Muzumdar, Sachin Tendulkar and Ajit Agarkar?

I think being part of such a great team motivates you, inspires you and gets the best out of you. You have to keep on improving to extend your stay in that dressing room. You also get to learn so much from them. They used to play with great intensity and attitude and that’s what I learnt over the years. I loved my season (2012-13) under Agarkar when we won the 40th title. I really looked up to him. I have been fortunate to be part of Indian Oil Corporation XI as well which increased my interaction with Jaffer. We keep taking cricket. He has been a great presence in my career.

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Many former cricketers say that playing for Mumbai is no different than representing India. Your thoughts?

The thrill and the excitement to play for Mumbai is something different. You have history behind and the expectations are high; anything without a championship title is considered a failure, the standard is that high. There is a lot of pride when we step into the field.

Talking about India, at the moment, cricket is at its peak. You can field two quality teams at the international level. There are lots of options today — fast bowlers, batsmen, ‘keepers — for the selectors. Cricketers from all over the country are trying to earn a spot and it is difficult to get in.

But that doesn’t stop one from dreaming of a spot. Do you still have the dream?

Every player would like to play for India. I want to play Test cricket for India. I will keep chasing the dream. 

What is your vision with the Ranji Trophy? Are you going to lead the side or is it going to be Shreyas Iyer?

Shreyas is doing a good job. So hopefully, he will carry on. I don’t think I will lead the side. It is an important season for us. Now that we have won the one-day championship, our focus will be to win Ranji too. We haven’t won in the last two years (the last being in 2015-16 under his captaincy). The aim is to go for the 42nd title.