Mumbai: Mumbai today sneaked into the knock-out stage as the third-best team in Group A and coach Pravin Amre said his team showed a lot of character to bounce back after a disastrous start to their campaign at the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament.
Pravin Amre. Pic/Suresh KK
Mumbai have rarely been tested in the past as much as they were this season in their quest to enter the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament's knock out stages. "We started with a shock defeat to Jammu and Kashmir and then our morale was down after the defeat to Tamil Nadu.
But the boys showed tremendous character. It's a young team with seven debutants," said Amre. The 40-time champions sneaked into the last eight after their drawn encounter against defending champions Karnataka from which Mumbai earned three points to finish the league engagements with 20 points to their credit, behind toppers
Karnataka (33) and No. 2 Tamil Nadu (29).
Mumbai had started their campaign on a dismal note by losing outright to minnows Jammu and Kashmir in their first-ever encounter in the 80-year history of the tournament, and that too at home. Then came a topsy turvy ride for Mumbai who hit the crest of the wave before crashing down on the next leading up to a
lot of anxiety till the end of the league stage of the tournament.
Amre said throughout the last day of the concluding game today against Karnataka the team constantly monitored the results of other Group A games that could impact their entry. The former India Test batsman also credited youngsters like Shreyas Iyer (over 600 runs), Siddhesh Lad (over 4000 runs) and medium pacer Shardul Thakur (32 wickets) for the turn around.
He also did not forget to mention ex-captain Suryakumar Yadav's contribution (over 500 runs) and new skipper Aditya Tare who scored a timely ton in the crunch game against Baroda. Looking at the knock outs, Amre said "Knock outs are different from the league."
Mumbai's quarter final rival will be known once the Cricket Board conducts its knock out draw. The four quarter final games are to be held concurrently at Lahli, Jaipur, Indore and Cuttack from February 15-19.