Mumbai helped themselves to their 40th Ranji Trophy title yesterday when they beat Saurashtra inside three days of the five-day final at the Wankhede Stadium.
Amazingly, Mumbai achieved their 33rd outright win (only on seven occasions did the team win on the basis of first innings lead). Probably more amazing is the fact that Mumbai lost only four of their 44 finals in 79 years of the Ranji Trophy.
All Ranji Trophy-winning captains have been India Test cricketers with the exception of Hormasji Vajifdar and Amol Muzumdar.
LP Jai had the distinction of winning the championship in the very first year of the tournament in 1934-35. He played in one Test for India in 1933-34 before playing for Mumbai in 1934-35.
Vijay Merchant holds the distinction of scoring the first century of the tournament — 101 vs Western India States at Mumbai in 1934-35 and nine years later, in 1943-44, had the honour of scoring an unbeaten 359 vs Maharashtra at the Brabourne Stadium. He holds the best batting average of 98.35 for his 3639 runs during his 32-match career from 1934-35 to 1950-51.
Rusi Modi scored seven centuries in successive matches including five in one season (1944-45) which included 1008 runs in five matches at an average of 201.60 to become the first ever batsman to score 1000 runs in a season. His scores: 168 vs Maharashtra at Mumbai in 1943-44, 128 vs Western India at Rajkot in 1943-44, 160 vs Sind at Karachi in 1944-45, 210 vs Western India at Mumbai in 1944-45, 245 n o vs Baroda at Vadodara in 1944-45, 113 vs Northern India at Mumbai in 1944-45, 151 vs Holkar at Mumbai in 1944-45.
Madhav Mantri held the Ranji Trophy record of most dismissals behind the wicket in his debut season — four caught and five stumpings making a total of nine dismissals behind the stumps in his debut match vs Northern India at Lahore in 1941-42. He and his nephew Sunil Gavaskar are the only Mumbai cricketers to carry their bat through the innings for Mumbai.
President Dr Rajendra Prasad invited the Mumbai team to Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi to personally hand over the Trophy to Mumbai captain Madhav Mantri — a unique moment in Ranji Trophy history where the President of India handed over the trophy to Madhav Mantri.
Madhav Apte began his Ranji Trophy career with a century on debut — 108 vs Saurashtra at the Brabourne Stadium in 1951-52 and straightaway walked into the Indian team for Tests vs Pakistan in the same season. He also toured the West Indies in 1952-53.
Polly Umrigar was one of the finest all-rounders produced by Mumbai. He played 59 Ranji Trophy matches and scored 4102 runs at the average of 70.72 and captured 140 wickets conceding 20.06 runs apiece during the period of 1946-47 to 1962-63.
Ajit Wadekar played from 1958-59 to 1972-73, a period in which Mumbai won the title for 15 years in succession. Mumbai played 94 matches during these 15 years with Wadekar playing in all the years.
Left-arm spinner Padmakar Shivalkar has the distinction of capturing 27 five-wicket hauls and 11 ten-wicket hauls. His eight for 16 and five for 18 (match figures of 13 for 34) in the final against Tamil Nadu at Chennai in 1972-73 brought victory to Mumbai in just two days and one ball on the third day. He captured 362 wickets at an average of 17.74
Legend Sunil Gavaskar played 66 Ranji Trophy games, scoring 5335 runs at 70.20 with 20 centuries and 14 half centuries.
The 340 he scored against Bengal at Mumbai in 1981-82 was his highest score. He led Mumbai in 39 matches with 19 victories and just
Dilip Vengsarkar, yet another prolific scorer in Tests, has 4080 runs to his credit, at 74.18 with 15 centuries and 19 half centuries. His memorable 139 not out against Haryana at Mumbai in 1990-91 went in vain as Mumbai lost by 2 runs.
Sanjay Manjrekar has to his credit the record of scoring the highest individual runs (377 vs Hyderabad at Wankhede Stadium in 1990-91) in 666 minutes off 474 balls, 51 fours and three sixes.
Ravi Shastri hit Baroda’s Tilak Raj for six sixes in an over at the Wankhede Stadium in 1984-85. Here’s how he hit them: over long on, straight hit, straight hit, over square leg, over long on and over square. He went on to score an unbeaten 200 in 113 minutes and off 123 balls (15 fours and 13 sixes). His 200 not out is the fastest double century in first-class cricket.
Sairaj Bahutule played 118 matches scoring 4314 runs at 35.36 and captured 395 wickets conceding 25.36 runs since his debut for Mumbai in 1991-92.
Sachin Tendulkar began his career with a century on debut — 100 vs Gujarat at Mumbai in 1988-89 and later on hit a century in both innings (140 and 139) versus Punjab at Wankhede Stadium in 1994-95 when he was Mumbai’s skipper.
Amol Muzumdar scored a century on debut — a world record 270 versus Haryana at Faridabad in 1993-94. Though he had the highest aggregate (till Wasim Jaffer surpassed it this season), he did not find a place in the India Test side during his Ranji Trophy career.
Wasim Jaffer scored a triple century in his very second Ranji Trophy match for Mumbai.
He holds the record for the highest aggregate of runs and also most centuries in the tournament. As captain, he did not lose a single match for Mumbai in his 37-match captaincy career.
Ajit Agarkar, Mumbai’s new skipper in the 2012-13 season, earned the distinction of winning the title in the debut year as captain. Agarkar has just ended his 18th year as a Mumbai player.
Sudhir Vaidya is a veteran statistician and scorer, who has authored the book Bombay in Ranji Trophy