Mumbai: Jan 26, 2013
Mumbai skipper Ajit Agarkar won the toss and elected to field against Saurashtra the Ranji Trophy final at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
Mumbai are looking to win their 40th Ranji title but they will be missing key players like Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, as they in the ODI squad playing against England.
Mumbai’s bowling’s stand-out performer has been left-arm spinner Ankit Chavan with a haul of 33 wickets in nine ties, including an incredible 9-23 in their league game here against Punjab.
Mumbai lack an off-spinner, and Agarkar insisted they have the two left-arm bowlers in Chavan and newcomer Vishal Dabholkar to turn to.
Sachin Tendulkar has played just three games this season and has contributed in each of them, scoring a ton in the league opener against Railways and in the quarter-final against Baroda, before notching up a crucial 56 against Services to help Mumbai recover from a difficult position (23-3) in the company of Abhishek Nayar who made 70.
Nayar has been the stand-out batsman, notching up 940 runs at over 100 per innings, inclusive of three hundreds and eight fifties, and close behind him are Aditya Tare (839 runs), Rohit (712) and Wasim Jaffer (703).
Saurashtra, on the contrary, have been heavily dependent on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja in batting and their absence is likely to hit them hard though youngsters Sheldon Jackson and Aarpit Vasavada have propped up the middle-order well.
The medium pace attack of the visitors — comprising Jaydev Unadkat, the experienced Sidharth Trivedi and either Sandip Maniar or Saurya Sanandiya — needs to step up against the strong Mumbai batting line-up.
Saurashtra’s spin attack is, however, more varied than the home team’s and comprises off-spinners Vishal Doshi and Kamlesh Makwana and left-arm spinner Dharmendra Jadeja.
(With inputs from PTI)