Ranji Trophy: Can Aditya Tare do a star turn for Mumbai as captain?

After Suryakumar Yadav's resignation, selectors opt for 'keeper-batsman as captain

This is a season of plenty for Mumbai cricket — plenty of drama and plenty of lows. On Sunday, Suryakumar Yadav resigned as captain after Mumbai's innings defeat to Tamil Nadu at Chennai.

Mumbai's Aditya Tare celebrates his century against Vidarbha in 2013
Mumbai's Aditya Tare celebrates his century against Vidarbha in 2013 

It is learnt that Mumbai Cricket Association vice-president Ravi Savant had informed the Sandeep Patil-led selection committee about an act of indiscipline committed by the then captain in the game against Madhya Pradesh at the Wankhede Stadium. Apparently, the selection committee felt that a disciplinary committee, and not them, should decide on Yadav's misdemeanor.

The defeat to Tamil Nadu may have prompted the selectors to think about Yadav's captaincy future, but before any discussion of his captaincy could take place, he quit. To be fair to Yadav, he has suffered no demons with the bat (485 runs at 53.88 with two centuries). Then there is Shreyas Iyer, who has been a revelation with
495 runs.

The selectors had little to choose from to pick the new captain and they went for Aditya Tare. Wasim Jaffer is part of this Mumbai team but he had already spurned the captaincy which seems to be a poisoned chalice.

Tare has a huge responsibility on his shoulders and could well do a good job in the leadership role, but the lack of options to captain a premier domestic team like Mumbai is worrying.

According to veteran statistician Sudhir Vaidya, Sameer Dighe was the last wicketkeeper to captain Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. Dighe enjoyed a good deal of success — winning the symbol of domestic cricket supremacy by beating Hyderabad in the 1999-2000 final at the Wankhede Stadium. While Dighe's team had six Test players, Tare's outfit has only Jaffer, who played that 2000 final as well.

Mumbai's last season coach Sulakshan Kulkarni felt Tare was deserving of the honour of leading Mumbai. "Very humble, very cool, very responsible," was how Kulkarni described the new captain.

Captaincy offer
In the course of the conversation, Kulkarni revealed that Tare was offered the captaincy last season but turned it down. "The plus point for Aditya is that he has been in the Mumbai Indians team and played alongside great players including Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting. He has also been part of the Mumbai dressing room which had Sachin, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan and he must have learnt a lot from that experience," added Kulkarni.

The mess in Mumbai cricket notwithstanding, Tare will have the backing of the selection committee. Chief selector Patil mentioned in these columns that this is not the time to run away from challenges and that it's a time for patience and investment in talent. Hopefully, the new captain will live up to his surname and give Mumbai cricket a
new star.

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