Ranji Trophy: Mumbai take on in-form Saurashtra in must-win game
Having endured a disappointing so far, 41-time champions Mumbai face a must-win situation to keep their slim knock-out chances alive when they take on an in-form Saurashtra in an Elite Group B Ranji Trophy game starting here on Tuesday.
The road to the knock-outs for Mumbai became even tougher after their match against Himachal Pradesh was washed out and both the teams shared a point each.
Mumbai, with 13 points, are languishing are at the 12th spot in the combined Group A and B table with one win, two losses and three draws.
Only five teams from combined Group A and B can make it to the knock-outs. An outright win here would take Mumbai to 19 points and a win with bonus point will take them to 20 points.
Anything less than a victory, would mean that Mumbai are virtually out of the tournament. The visitors would be bolstered by the return of senior batsman Suryakumar Yadav, who was with on India A duty in New Zealand. And he would be more than eager to contribute with the bat for his side.
Another young batsman Sarfaraz Khan, who has hit back-to-back triple and double hundreds, would look to continue from where he left in Dharamshala.
He had remained unbeaten on 226 on the opening day of Mumbai’s game against Himachal Pradesh and before that he had notched up a triple hundred against Uttar Pradesh.
Another positive sign for Mumbai is that ‘crisis man’ Siddesh Lad and skipper Aditya Tare are back among runs. However, their top-order needs to fire big time.
Mumbai bowlers led by experienced Tushar Deshpande would also need to deliver for the team.
Spinners Shashank Attarde and Shams Mulani have been playing their part well and they would be more than keen to rattle the opposition one more time.
Saurashtra, on the other hand, are sitting pretty on the third spot in combined A and B table, with 25 points.
Their skipper Jaydev Unadkat is leading from the front and his 12 wickets in the last match against Baroda helped his side win the game.
But Saurashtra need make improvements in their batting department.