Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > News >

Ranji Trophy 2013-14 quarter-final preview: Arch-rivals Mumbai-Maharashtra face off

 

Zaheer Khan is back for Mumbai and will lead them in the knockout game © Getty Images
Zaheer Khan is back for Mumbai and will lead them in the knockout game © Getty Images

 
Mumbai: Jan 7, 2014

 

Group toppers Maharashtra will play defending champions Mumbai, who barely made it to the knock-out stage, in the five-day quater-final of the Ranji Trophy that promises to be a keen fight at the Wankhede Stadium, starting on Wednesday.

 

While Maharashtra advanced to the elimination phase by finishing on top of Group C, 40-time champions Mumbai staged a grand comeback from the brink in Group A after conceding a 99-run first innings lead to Gujarat in their final league game before winning outright to qualify for the quarter-final.

 

All these facts would be confined to the dustbin when the two arch-rivals meet in what is considered to be the Maharashtra state version of the well-known ‘War of Roses’ between Lancashire and Yorkshire in English county cricket.

 

Though the visitors from across the Sahyadri ranges topped their group that consisted of the championship’s weakest teams, they would find Mumbai – bolstered by the return of veteran pacer Zaheer Khan and all-rounder Abhishek Nayar — a tough nut to crack in the latter’s backyard.

 

Zaheer, who will lead the hosts, is available for this game after missing a few earlier when he was with the Indian team in South Africa and his mere presence would lift the Mumbai bowling attack on a track that generally has bounce and assists pacers for the first couple of days.

 

Maharashtra’s leading batsmen — opener Harshad Khadiwale, Kedar Jadhav, Ankit Bawne, captain and wicket keeper Rohit Motwani and India’s under-19 Asia cup-winning skipper Vijay Zol — would have their hands full against the home side attack that has been lifted by the selection of experienced left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla.

 

It was Abdulla’s 11-wicket (6 for 42 and 5 for 44) haul that dashed Gujarat’s hopes at Valsad. He will have support from Mumbai’s top wicket taker of the season, Vishal Dabholkar (38 wickets), who also bowls slow left-arm orthodox stuff.

 

The welcome news for Maharashtra is that Zol, who cracked a hundred earlier in the season and a match-winning hundred against Pakistan in the Asia Cup final at Sharjah last week, has recovered from his groin niggle and is fit to play.

 

Nayar, who has the knack of getting breakthroughs with his slow medium bowling, has not fired at all this season with the bat and also got injured which forced him to miss the team’s last few important games.

 

Suryakumar Yadav has played poor shots and got out which had put extra pressure on the other batsmen. The absence of the steady Hiken Shah, who has split the webbing on his hand, and Siddesh Lad has weakened Mumbai’s batting which the Maharashtra bowlers would look to exploit.

 

The visitors have a decent pace attack spearheaded by Shrikant Munde and are dependent also on the left-arm spin of Akshay Darekar, who will enjoy the bounce offered by the track.

 

“You cannot underestimate any team that makes it to the quarterfinal. Knowing their history in first class cricket, you have to be at your best,” said Maharashtra coach Surendra Bhave when asked about Mumbai. ”I am confident I have got a young side that can perform anywhere in India on any track,” said the coach confidently.

 

Skipper Zaheer was effusive in his praise for Shardul Thakur. ”I am particularly very impressed with Shardul. He has got the pace which is required, at a higher level as well. That is very promising. He is someone we should invest in future and hopefully we will get some good performances out of him,” Zaheer said.

 

“Shardul being able to bat as well, that is added responsibility on him. He is a good all round prospect I feel,” he added.

 

The 35-year old also praised Javed Khan and said, “He has got a bit more experience than what Shardul has got. But in terms of raw pace, he has impressed me.” The Indian pace spearhead, who is part of the Test team for the New Zealand tour, said he wants to get more match practice before he leaves.

 

“It is good to keep in touch. I have always endorsed that I enjoy match practice more than just coming and bowling in the nets. The intensity is different. From that perspective, I am hoping to get more and more games before I go [to New Zealand],” he said.

 

Asked about the absence of Hiken Shah, Zaheer said the team would miss his services but at the same time it is an opportunity for other players. ”That is one thing, we had concern about. Few of the batters who were playing regularly have got injured now at this stage. So it is an opportunity for others, especially for someone like Vinit, who has been around for a while. We will miss the services of Hiken, he has played some good knocks for the team to get here. Along with a few others, Hiken will also be missed,” he said.

 

Maharashtra captain Rohit Motwani said it is a crucial game for the team, since it is the knockout stage. ”It is an important game for every team that reaches in the top eight. It is a crucial game. We know it is a do or die sitution, whoever wins will go further,” he said. He added that the bowlers have done well to pick up 20 wickets on batsmen friendly wickets.

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Rajasthan Royals won by 4 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kings XI Punjab won by 6 wkts

Photos

RR vs KXIP, IPL 2014 Match 7 at Sharjah

Videos

Rajasthan Royals' unusual strategy in IPL 2014

Glenn Maxwell, David Miller’s blazing innings help Kings XI Punjab cruise past Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets in IPL 7

Praveen Kumar believes making comeback for India is not difficult

Saqlain Mushtaq: Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine are skilful cricketers

Miran Bakhsh: The second-oldest Test debutant

Indian cricketers and copycat marketing

Chennai Super Kings David Miller Delhi Daredevils England India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders Mumbai Indians Rajasthan Royals Royal Challengers Bangalore RR vs KXIP 2014 Virat Kohli

IPL 2014: Glenn Maxwell disappointed to leave run-chase unfinished

PCB didn’t pursue Rashid Latif owing to ECB pressure

Glenn Maxwell, David Miller’s blazing innings help Kings XI Punjab cruise past Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets in IPL 7

Rajasthan Royals (RR) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), IPL 2014: David Miller’s blitz puts Punjab in sight of victory

Cricket betting racket busted in Jaipur, 6 men arrested

Batsmen who have smashed last ball for six to win a game in the annals of One-Day Internationals

IPL 2014: Glenn Maxwell, David Miller form the core of Kings XI Punjab’s batting line-up

Praveen Kumar believes making comeback for India is not difficult

Saqlain Mushtaq: Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine are skilful cricketers

Miran Bakhsh: The second-oldest Test debutant

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

2 Posts | 0 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils IPL 2014 Match no 6 Video Highlights

Nike refutes FuelBand shutdown reports, says new color options incoming

5 reasons you’re not seeing results in the gym

HTC Desire 210 sub-Rs 10,000 smartphone in the works

KXIP vs RR, IPL 2014: Maxwell and Miller seal another victory for Kings XI Punjab

IPL 2014: Deepak Hooda, Ankit Sharma celebrate birthday with team-mates

Gibraltar fire stops global online betting

Soundarya Rajinikanth: I fulfilled my animation dream with Kochadaiiyaan

I am unable to penetrate my wife (Sex Query of the day)

Also on cricketcountry.com