Mumbai Triumphs in Ranji Trophy, Rahane Leads Despite Personal Struggles

Mumbai Triumphs in Ranji Trophy, Rahane Leads Despite Personal Struggles

Ajinkya Rahane, despite enduring a disappointing run with the bat, expressed immense joy at leading Mumbai to their 42nd Ranji Trophy title at the Wankhede Stadium. Mumbai’s 169-run victory over Vidarbha marked a significant triumph for the team.

Rahane’s personal performance in the Ranji season was underwhelming, with his 214 runs placing him ninth among Mumbai’s run-getters. However, his crucial 73 in the second innings of the final, along with a 130-run partnership with centurion Musheer Khan, proved decisive in securing the victory.

“Even though I am the lowest scorer for my team, I am the happiest to lift the trophy,” Rahane said at the post-match presentation. “As a player, you will have ups and downs. It’s about creating an atmosphere in the dressing room and enjoying each other’s success. This is a special moment.”

Rahane attributed Mumbai’s success to the positive culture and attitude fostered within the team. “Last year, we failed to qualify for the knock-outs by one run. We had to create the right culture and attitude in the team. We created a fitness culture and I would thank MCA for providing all the support,” he added.

Rahane praised Vidarbha’s fighting spirit throughout the final. “I want to appreciate Vidarbha’s fight. Chasing 538, giving up is easy but they played really well.”

Player of the Match Musheer Khan and Player of the Tournament Tanush Kotian expressed gratitude for Rahane’s guidance. “I enjoyed batting with him,” said Musheer. “During our partnership, he would very nicely explain what he wanted from me.”

Kotian credited Rahane for helping him unlock his batting potential, which resulted in over 500 runs. “Last year I got a bit more confidence in my batting and I worked hard with my father. Ajju dada (that’s how youngsters in Mumbai team address him) also helped me a lot,” Kotian said.

Rahane acknowledged the contributions of retiring veteran Dhawal Kulkarni, who has played six finals for Mumbai and won five Ranji Trophy titles. “We have played for Mumbai since our U-14 days. We toured for India U-19 (New Zealand). Whatever I say in his praise would be less. His contribution is laudable. Off-field experience sharing and not also with those not in team.”