By Abhijit Banare
Mumbai: Jan 11, 2014
After the eight-wicket defeat against Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals, Mumbai coach Sulakshan Kulkarni said the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) should look in to the future of the team and start rebuilding form the ground level.
“MCA should look in to it. They should think how to improve Mumbai cricket in the future. Not only Ranji Trophy but age group cricket as well were the basics of cricket is taught. MCA should look into the basics of everyone’” he said.
Asked whether he was worried about Mumbai’s future, Kulkarni chose not to respond and said, “I am worried because for Mumbai, there is nothing less than championship. For teams other than Mumbai, if they lose it is not news. But when Mumbai loses it is big news and today is big news. For Mumbai, a defeat is difficult to digest. From that point of view MCA should look in to it.”
Kulkarni though admitted that it was the batting which let them down this season. He pointed the lack of playing more matches before the start of the season as one of the cause.
“We need to play more matches. Last year we went to KSCA, Buchi Babu, Nagpur and Times Shield. Before the first Ranji Trophy match we played 11 matches. More the matches you play the better it is. This year we played only one tournament in Nagpur. We need to play for Test matches. And the lack of those matches made a big difference,”
“They have batted brilliantly. On this wicket we never expected someone to put a 200 odd runs on Day Four against Zaheer Khan they have batted brilliantly. You need guts, skill, temperament, tactics.”
Mumbai have struggled to maintain their consistency with almost 25 players being used across the season under three captains. “Whatever we have we will play with it. We will never complain; that is Mumbai. Whatever strength overall we had in Mumbai we tried our best,” he said.
Defending the decision of Iqbal Abdulla not being used more, Kulkarni said, “I don’t think saw he was under bowled. The last wicket [at Valsad] was totally different. It had bounce and turn and the pitch was completely different.”
Mumbai had a new bowling attack with Ajit Agarkar who retired, Dhawal Kulkarni and Ankeet Chavan not available this season.
He said, “We got a big gain in Shardul Thakur, Vishal Dabholkar and Javed Khan who got 25 odd wickets which is a big plus for Mumbai cricket. Last year in the league phase we struggled to get 20 wickets. But this year we got wickets , we got three or four outrights and the youngsters performed well.”
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