Mumbai could notch up just a solitary outright win from their eight matches and could gain a first innings lead only twice this season. @ PTI

Mumbai cricket is left pondering over the city’s dismal performance in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season where they failed to qualify for the knockouts. Add to that, the 41-time domestic champs could notch up just a solitary outright win from their eight matches and could gain a first innings lead only twice this season.

To address Mumbai cricket woes, former captains were invited by the Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) to chalk out plans for a turnaround next season. Sanjay Manjrekar was one of them and puts things in perspective.

“You’ve got to look at the whole thing in a more mature fashion,” the former India batsman was quoted as saying by MID-DAY on Monday.

“Mumbai have won four times in the last 10 seasons. Plus, they have qualified for the final once in those years – not a bad record for any team, so it is not a situation of crisis. Mumbai cricket must understand that they can’t go back to their former glory of winning every title that comes along. Indian cricket’s landscape is changing and Mumbai cannot be as dominant as they used to be. A lot of good cricketers are emerging from all corners of India and there are competitive teams. That reality has to be acknowledged. Having said that, there is nothing to stop Mumbai from being at their best,” he explained. (ALSO READ: DRS in live domestic cricket games will be very helpful: Vinay Kumar)

Manjrekar chalked out what could be Mumbai’s short-term gains.

“For short-term gains, I think they [MCA] have got to look at addressing the leadership and coaching [aspect]. If they feel these [captain Siddhesh Lad and coach Vinayak Samant] are the right guys, then the onus should be completely on them. At this level, a captain is not looking to just win matches. He is there to establish a culture – a team culture, winning culture… the whole team should be focussed in one direction. The biggest secret behind Mumbai cricket’s success has been leadership and the coach – two people working together, two people at the helm, responsible for the team to look really good like when Ravi Shastri was in charge [in 1993-94] when the stars were missing, or when I was in charge.” (ALSO READ: Unadkat removes Jaffer, Saurashtra take top honours)

Manjrekar led Mumbai to a Ranji Trophy triumph in 1996-97. “When I took over [as captain], I remember the team were completely mesmerised by Ravi Shastri. He had a big influence on that team. Players like Sameer Dighe and Sairaj Bahutule hadn’t played for India then. Ravi managed to get the team together and lead from the front,” he said.