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|Mumbai takes on Hyderabad in Ranji semis|
Saturday, March 13 2004 20:28 Hrs (IST)
Mumbai may have the home advantage but they will be weakened by the absence of all-rounders Ramesh Powar and Ajit Agarkar. While Powar is currently with the Indian team on its tour to Pakistan, Agarkar is injured.
Admitting that the team will miss Powar, Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit said, "what we have done in the past will be of no use if we don't play well in this match." "It is a knock-out game and if we don't perform well we are out," Pandit said.
Looking back at the team's performance this season, the former Indian wicketkeeper said that though the batsmen have done well but the bowling needed improvement.
"I expect a lot from Avishkar (Salvi) and Munaf (Patel) in this match," he said.
Medium pacer Salvi, who was picked for the recent tour of Australia but missed the flight owing to an injury, has recovered and is raring to go.
Mumbai, known for its batting prowess, has some of the best batsmen in their ranks including India players Vinod Kambli and Wasim Jaffer besides the Amol Muzumdar, Manoj Joglekar, Vinayak Mane and wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant.
Captain Sairaj Bahutule, Robin Morris and Bhavin Thakkar can also score runs in times of need.
Hyderabad, led by former India spinner Venkatpathy Raju, too so a balanced side and consists some of the best players on the national circuit.
In the absence of stylish V V S Laxman, their batting revolves around Daniel Manohar, Vinay Kumar and India Under-19 captain A T Rayudu while the bowling will be spearheaded by N P Singh, Ibrahim Khaleel, Fiaz Ahmed, Abhinav Kumar and P Indra Sekhar Reddy.
"No doubt we will miss Laxman, who is our batting mainstay, but I am happy to have young Rayudu and experienced duo of Raju and N P Singh," Hyderabad coach Y Rajesh Yadav said.
"Mumbai is playing at home and look a confident side but we are also not lacking in confidence and I hope that the boys will give a good show," Yadav added.
The teams (from): Mumbai: Sairaj Bahutule (captain), Vinod Kambli (vice-captain), Wasim Jaffer, Vinayak Mane, Bhavin Thakkar, Amol Muzumdar, Vinayak Samant (wicketkeeper), Usman Malvi, Nilesh Kulkarni, Avishkar Salvi, Munaf Patel, Robin MOrris, Vinit Indulkar, Manoj Joglekar and Rahul Thakur.
Hyderabad: Venkatpathy Raju (captain), Shivaji Yadav, Anirudh Singh, Daniel Manohar, Ambati Rayudu, Vinay Kumar, Ibrahim Khaleel, N P Singh, Vishnu Vardhan, Faiz Ahmed, Indra Sekhar Reddy, Abhinav Kumar, Mohd Ghouse, Shashank Nag and Arvind Shetty.
Umpires: Jasbir Singh (Mohali), Hariharan (Delhi).
Match Referee: Raju Pankule (Nagpur).