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.”

Ashwin Raises Concerns About Rahane's Batting Technique in Ranji Trophy Final

Ashwin Raises Concerns About Rahane’s Batting Technique in Ranji Trophy Final

Ravichandran Ashwin Highlights Ajinkya Rahane’s Batting Technique in Ranji Trophy Final

Indian cricket team spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has raised concerns about Ajinkya Rahane’s batting technique during the ongoing Ranji Trophy final between Mumbai and Vidarbha. Rahane survived a close LBW appeal when a delivery from Umesh Yadav seamed back and hit his pads. Replays showed that the decision would have been umpire’s call, but Ashwin believes Rahane’s head position and footwork contributed to his discomfort.

“We have to talk about Ajinkya Rahane’s head position,” Ashwin wrote on Instagram. “When the head falls over, it becomes difficult to play deliveries that cut in. When your head falls over, the delivery that seams in will always trouble you. Ajinkya will have to be wary of that.”

Former Bengal cricketer Joydeep Mukherjee also noticed that Rahane’s foot position indicated he was expecting the ball to come straight to his bat. “The foot pointing towards mid-off tells me that he was playing for the ball going straight and not jagging back otherwise it would be a lot straighter,” Mukherjee said.

Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer was in fine form for Mumbai, scoring 95 off 111 balls. His celebration after reaching his half-century went viral on social media. Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma was in attendance during the match, providing motivation for Iyer to find his form.

Shardul Thakur Backs Rahane, Iyer to Regain Form, Urges Support for Mumbai Seniors

Shardul Thakur Backs Rahane, Iyer to Regain Form, Urges Support for Mumbai Seniors

Mumbai all-rounder Shardul Thakur has expressed confidence in Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer’s ability to regain their form, despite their recent struggles. Rahane and Iyer both failed to score in Mumbai’s first innings against Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy final, but Thakur believes they will bounce back.

“Ajinkya is not scoring runs throughout the season. He is not in the greatest of the forms. We cannot blame him as it is just a phase for him where he is not getting runs,” Thakur said. “It’s just a rough patch for them. That’s what I would say (about) Shreyas (and) Ajinkya. These guys have been absolute match-winners for Mumbai and India.”

Thakur urged everyone to support the seasoned pros in their down phase. “Right now, it’s not their time; it’s time to support them rather than criticising them because it’s easy to criticise,” Thakur said.

Rahane has so far made just 141 runs from eight matches at an average of 12.81 with a solitary fifty. Shreyas, on the other hand, has not been regular for Mumbai this season owing to his national commitments but his return to the domestic circuit has been far from impressive — 58 runs from three games at an average of 19.33 with a highest of 48.

However, Thakur said both Rahane and Shreyas have shown the right attitude on the field, something he believed should work as a pointer to the younger Mumbai players. “Ajinkya has not scored runs but his attitude on the fielding is top notch. A lot of youngsters coming from U-23 and U-19 cricket in Mumbai don’t have the attitude that he has. You see him in the slips, even if he is fielded for 80 overs, he will sprint (to) save (those) four runs,” Thakur said.

“Shreyas moves around the field like a tiger. He absolutely gives everything that he has on the field. Both of them are role models when they are in the dressing room,” Thakur added.

Thakur was disappointed that some of the upcoming batters failed to rise to the occasion as significant as a Ranji Trophy final. “The other batters…we collectively felt that they should have shown a better approach. Starting from Bhupen Lalwani because he survived the first two or three balls in that over (in which he was dismissed) and still chasing that wide one on the fourth delivery, is not on,” he said.

Thakur minced no words when he said that players will have to put the team first. “They have to learn quickly because (the) Mumbai dressing room is not about (your) own self. When you play here, you play for the team. You have to keep your individual scores, your own game aside.

“When you score 20-25 or 30 runs, the next runs are for the team. They have to learn about it.”

The 32-year-old said the Mumbai batting unit will have to regroup in the second innings. “We just need to regroup as a batting unit. There are going to be tough days as a batting unit. Probably, we will just have a meeting and decide collectively how are you going to put a big score on the board from the first three or four wickets,” he noted.

Thakur rescued Mumbai from a wobbly 111 for six with a counter-punching 75 off 69 balls, an innings that bore similarity to his hundred against Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy semifinals a few days back. “I love to play in tough situations and tough conditions. The kind of life that I have lived travelling far from Palghar to Mumbai with the kit bag on the train, you know it was not easy. That has toughened me up,” he said.

Veteran pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, who will retire after the final, replaced injured Mohit Avasthi in the 11 for the title clash, and Thakur said it was emotional to see his old mate turning up for Mumbai one last time. “Today morning it was confirmed that he is playing. It was going to be his last game. It was an extremely emotional moment for him.

“It’s an emotional moment for me also because I have watched him since childhood. When I did not have money to buy shoes, he gave me a few pairs of shoes,” Thakur recalled.

Vidarbha’s Harsh Dubey, whose three-wicket haul included Rahane, said he had dreamt of dismissing the experienced batter. “I enjoyed dismissing Rahane. I had thought before the game that I would dismiss him. I was determined to do it and it was one of my best dismissals in Ranji Trophy,” Dubey said.

“I tried to get him to drive since the ball was coming off slower at that length and I was successful in what I had planned,” he added.

Vidarbha's Harsh Dubey Targets Key Wickets in Ranji Trophy Triumph

Vidarbha’s Harsh Dubey Targets Key Wickets in Ranji Trophy Triumph

Harsh Dubey, the young left-arm spinner for Vidarbha, played a pivotal role in his team’s Ranji Trophy triumph. A day before the final, Dubey was tasked with dismissing a key Mumbai batter, and he executed his plan to perfection.

Of the three wickets Dubey claimed, he cherished Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal the most. “I had made up my mind to dismiss him before the match,” Dubey revealed. “I always do it. Before every match, I pick a player whom I want to dismiss.”

Dubey’s dismissal of Rahane was a testament to his meticulous planning. “I was giving him balls to drive, thinking that there were chances of the ball going in the air if Rahane drives it as the ball was getting stuck on the wicket,” Dubey explained. “The plan succeeded.”

Rahane’s attempt to break free resulted in an uppish drive that was caught by Dhruv Shorey at mid-off. Dubey’s success against Rahane was a significant moment in the match, as it helped Vidarbha gain an early advantage.

Dubey’s performance in the final was a culmination of his hard work and experience. The 21-year-old has been juggling between Vidarbha’s Under-23 and Ranji sides throughout the season. However, the experience of winning championships in the inter-state age-group tournaments helped him enter the final without any pressure.

“There was no pressure of the final. We have won the U-16, U-19, and U-23 finals in the past, so there was no such pressure of the final,” Dubey said. “I was treating it as a normal game and not thinking of it as a big game. I am taking it as just another Ranji contest against Mumbai.”

Dubey’s composure and determination were evident throughout the match. He bowled with accuracy and control, troubling the Mumbai batsmen with his variations. His performance was a testament to his talent and the guidance he has received from his coaches.

Mumbai vs. Vidarbha: Ranji Trophy Final Poised for Epic Clash

Mumbai vs. Vidarbha: Ranji Trophy Final Poised for Epic Clash

Mumbai, the undisputed kings of Indian domestic cricket, will face a formidable challenge from the gritty Vidarbha team in the much-anticipated Ranji Trophy final starting tomorrow. Led by the astute Ajinkya Rahane, Mumbai will aim to extend their dominance with a record-breaking 42nd title, while Vidarbha, the two-time champions, will be determined to upset the legacy holders.

Despite a disappointing individual performance with the bat, Rahane’s leadership skills have been instrumental in guiding Mumbai to their 48th summit clash. The team has overcome the absence of key players like Suryakumar Yadav, Sarfaraz Khan, and Shreyas Iyer, showcasing their resilience and depth.

Mumbai’s batting has not been as prolific as their opponents, but their lower-middle order has stepped up in crucial situations. Wicketkeeper-batter Hardik Tamore, Tanush Kotian, Shams Mulani, and Tushar Deshpande have all made significant contributions. The likes of Shivam Dube and Shardul Thakur have also delivered important knocks in the knockout stages.

Vidarbha, on the other hand, have displayed consistent performances across all departments. Karun Nair has led the batting charge, while Dhruv Shorey, Akshay Wadkar, Atharva Taide, and Yash Rathod have all contributed heavily. Aditya Sarwate and Aditya Thakare have been the mainstays of the bowling attack, with India pacer Umesh Yadav providing crucial breakthroughs.

Vidarbha’s clinical approach in big games has been evident in their victories over Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Despite conceding a significant lead in the first innings against Madhya Pradesh, they fought back to secure a memorable win.

The final promises to be a thrilling contest between two evenly matched teams. Mumbai’s experience and home advantage will be tested against Vidarbha’s determination and consistent performances. The battle for the Ranji Trophy crown is set to be a captivating spectacle.

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