As the second IPL hits the homestretch, teams have begun looking to the future. And for Mumbai Indians the way forward seems to be in scouting for players with a proven track record in the Ranji Trophy.
They aren’t alone in this. HT has learnt other franchises too are looking for proven performers in the country’s premier domestic competition. Top players and officials seem to have agreed that cricketers acquired in the name of fresh talent will not serve their purpose in the long run.
Zaheer Khan’s observations on the Delhi Daredevils seem to be a pointer to this.
“Delhi have a fine combination of star players and experienced Ranji players like Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia,” said the Mumbai Indians’ pace spearhead. “Mithun is a big name in Ranji cricket and Delhi can bank on him in the hour of need,” he said.
Mumbai are looking to go Delhi’s way by netting quality Ranji talent. Some players in the Deccan Chargers squad have impressed Zaheer and Harbhajan Singh has suggested Punjab’s Sarabjeet Singh be looked at. The team is also on the lookout for a wicketkeeper-batsman. Currently, they have options in Pinal Shah and Yogesh Takawale.
Officials blame the team’s current state to wrong recruitment. Team co-owner Tina Ambani though said: “We don’t interfere in selection matters and have left everything to Sachin Tendulkar and Shaun Pollock who coordinate with the management. They have been given a free hand.”