Rejuvenated Mumbai to test Dada-powered Bengal

Published: Thursday, February 1, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Mumbai:Mumbai, the powerhouse of Indian cricket, who have won the Ranji Trophy for a record 36 times, will start as the clear favourites when they take on a much improved Bengal in the Ranji Trophy Elite Division final beginning at the Wankhede stadium here tomorrow.

Mumbai have shown great character and ability in recovering from a lacklustre start and will be keen to maintain the winning momentum especially now with Sachin Tendulkar, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan and Ramesh Powar all playing. For the record, Mumbai and Bengal have played five Ranji Trophy finals with the former emerging triumphant on each ocassion.

Bengal, on the other hand, are determined to make amends for last years disappointment in the final and have much more balanced look to their side with the induction of former India captain Sourav Ganguly. Bengal can also take heart from the fact that when the two sides met during the league stage this season, it was Bengal who ran away with the points on the basis of first innings lead.

However, that result will count little in the five-day final as the situation, the circumstances and players are different, believes Mumbai captain Amol Muzumdar.

''This is a different game, this is a final. It is a different situation, circumstances are different and the players are different. We all are looking forward to it, hopefully it will be a good final,'' Muzumdar said after the practice session. Dwelling on the combination for final, Muzumdar said that team composition has not yet been decided following the inclusion of senior players in the squad.

''According to me, the best eleven from Mumbai should play. This is not the first time it has happened, it has been a Mumbai tradition. It is absolutely a great honour for me to captain Sachin,'' added Muzumdar, the mainstay of Mumbai batting this season.

Bengal look slightly weak in the spin department but their seam attack, spearheaded by the impressive Ranadeb Bose, looks quite potent with Sourav Sarkar, Ashok Dinda and Ganguly providing back-up.

The wicket looks a sporting one and which is expected to hold true the full distance.

''It is a sporting wicket and it will last full five days. It will help the pacers early on and provide the spinners turn from day three. Even after the ball gets old, it will have good carry as it is a firm wicket, good for five-day cricket,'' curator Sudhir Naik said.


Write Comments