Mumbai coach Sulakshan Kulkarni delighted with the team's performance

This is Sulakshan Kulkarni’s first season as Mumbai coach

By CricketCountry Staff

Mumbai: Jan 6,2012

Sulakshan Kulkarni is a happy coach of the Mumbai Ranji team. Despite managing only a draw against Madhya Pradesh, the team went make it to the semi-finals for having taken the first innings in their Ranji Trophy quarter-final.

However, Kulkarni was satisfied with the attitude of the team.

“I am really happy to see the character of the team. Despite not having most of our regular faces, we managed to make it to the semis and hoping to do even better,” Kulkarni told MiD-DAY from Indore.

This is Kulkarni s first season as the coach of the Mumbai team.

Mumbai has so far won 39 Ranji Trophies. Kaustabh Pawar, Hiken Shah, Surya Kumar Yadav, Ankeet Chavan and others were influential in the first innings lead against Madhya Pradesh.

An impressed Kulkarani said, “They reflected true Mumbai colours. When we were reduced to 70 for five on day one, our youngsters made sure we get the first innings lead. That’s fantastic.”

Players like Sushant Marathe, Abhishek Nayar and Avishkar Salvi has been missing out on regular matches.

“I can only confirm that we will probably get Abhishek (Nayar) for the semi-final, but still have no clue about Marathe and Salvi. It will take a day or two to know their status,” he said.

Mumbai will play against Tamil Nadu in their semi-final at Wankhede Stadium from Tuesday. Previous year, Mumbai got eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Aiming for the 40th title, Kulkarni added, “If we have to win the tournament for the 40th time, we will have to be at our very best. Tamil Nadu is a very good side and the outcome will depend on how the two teams fare on those four days.”

Still, the 39 times champions are not taking Tamil Nadu players lightly.

“They have Murali Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, Subramaniam Badrinath, Dinesh Karthik, Laxmipathy Balaji… so many stars and consistent performers. Badrinath, in particular, has been taking the onus of scoring the bulk of the runs for so many years and so it will be great match,” he concluded.