Mumbai looking to regain the Ranji title

All eyes will be on Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan as Mumbai start their Ranji Trophy campaign against the Railways at the Wankhede Stadium today.

It will be ideal practice for the two veterans ahead of the four-match Test series against England beginning November 15. Pacer Ajit Agarkar, for the first time in his 16-year career, will lead a strong looking Mumbai side which flaunts names like Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ramesh Powar and Abhishek Nayar.

Mumbai’s Ramesh Powar (left), Ajit Agarkar, Iqbal Abdullah and Abhishek Nayar (right) warm-up at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pics/Suresh KK

For Agarkar, it has been a total recall after he withdrew from the team last season following his exclusion from the playing XI for a Ranji Trophy match against Orissa. But earlier this year, he sorted out his differences with the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

Agarkar, who has been named the captain for the first four matches, takes over the team from Wasim Jaffer, who has asked for leave for Haj pilgrimage.

The Railways, lack the star power that their opponents possess. They will have to rely on old warhorses like Sanjay Bangar and Murali Kartik.

The Railways had an abysmal run last season, finishing second last in their group. Of the seven matches played, they managed to win just one and drew three games.

In contrast, Mumbai topped their group, winning three and drawing four games. However, Mumbai failed to get the better of a strong Tamil Nadu team, going down to them in the semi-finals.

Suryakumar Yadav was the surprise package for Mumbai last time around and would look to impress once again. He scored 754 runs in nine matches at an average of 68.54.

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