Mumbai start favourites against Saurashtra in Ranji Trophy final

Ranji trophy

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 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 Tare (839 runs), Rohit (712) and Wasim Jaffer (703).

"We have had good performances from most of the squad, and that's what you want though there have been stand-out ones like Nayar, Tare and Wasim. Everyone has chipped in at important times," said Agarkar.

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.

"Ramesh (Powar) has been missing for a while because of injury. We are still looking for (an off-spinner in Powar's absence), but these two left-armers have bowled well for us."

Asked about Mumbai's awesome record in finals they have won all nine finals they have figured in after losing by two runs to Haryana in the May 1991 final at the Wankhede the skipper felt it was because of their superior experience.

"I suppose it comes with experience as we have got more than one guy who have played more than one final. That generally helps in winning big games. Plus you have got the great man (Sachin). We have generally played well in finals."

Saurashtra, on the contrary, have been heavily dependent on Pujara and 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.

... contd.

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