Though Mumbai have achieved their Ranji Trophy goal, there is no shortage of hunger in the domestic giants' camp as they face up to Rest of India in the Irani Cup, starting at Brabourne Stadium today.
Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare after a net session on Saturday ahead of today's Irani Cup clash with Rest of India at CCI. Pic/Suresh Karkera
The Ranji champions last won the Irani Cup in 1997-98 when Sanjay Manjrekar's Mumbai beat Anil Kumble's Rest of India by 54 runs.
Mumbai captain Aditya Tare felt regaining the Irani Cup is a challenge and a motivation for his players. "We know it's been a long time since Mumbai won Irani Cup, so it's a good challenge for us. Also, it is good motivation for us to do something special again," said Tare after Saturday's practice session at the Cricket Club of India.
Mumbai have a strong batting line-up consisting of heavy-scorer Shreyas Iyer (1321 runs in the season), Akhil Herwadkar (879), Suryakumar Yadav (788) along with the consistent Siddhesh Lad and the skipper himself.
Tare did not reveal whether opener Jai Bista will be in the playing XI, but praised the young batsman, who scored a double century in the under-23 CK Nayudu Trophy final recently.
"I can't tell you who will be opening. It's a good sign that the selectors have backed him again and got him in the team. He is a very talented player, something special for the future. Obviously, he needs time; he needs to be groomed. I am sure if he has the right attitude and works on his game, he will be a great asset for us in years to come," said the Mumbai skipper.
Ojha's spirited bunch
Rest have a formidable batting line-up comprising skipper Naman Ojha, Faiz Fazal, Karun Nair and all-rounder Stuart Binny and their bowling will provide a stiff challenge to Mumbai. "They are motivated to play for India and hungry to perform. It's very easy to captain boys who are hungry to play for India. We have a very good bowling attack and a very young batting side," said skipper Naman Ojha.