Ranji Trophy final: Mumbai veteran Abhishek Nayar all set to fire

Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar may not have impressive stats ahead of today’s Ranji Trophy final vs Saurashtra, but insists he is in fine form

Pune: Before the knockouts, Abhishek Nayar had 159 runs and six wickets from four matches. This was way below the standards set by the all-rounder known for his significant contributions with bat and ball.

Abhishek Nayar during the Ranji Trophy tie against UP at Wankhede in November last year. PIC/Atul Kamble
Abhishek Nayar during the Ranji Trophy tie against UP at Wankhede in November last year. Pic/Atul Kamble

Nayar stepped up his game when it mattered the most, adding 233 runs and claiming four wickets to his overall tally thanks to his performances in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final and semi-final.

Yesterday, on the eve of the Ranji Trophy final against Saurashtra, Nayar quietly watched journalists chasing Mumbai’s top run-getters Shreyas Iyer (1204) and Akhil Herwadkar (879) for a byte as the team wrapped up their three-hour practice session.

‘Really satisfied’
A few seasons ago, the scribes used to go after Nayar. "From the outset, people may think I am not in my best form. But I am really satisfied with the role that I have in the team. It does not matter where I bat or when I get to bowl, I am willing to do anything as long as the team does well," Nayar told mid-day yesterday.

The 32-year-old has, without a fuss, slipped into his new role of batting at No 7. "It is a new challenge. Before this, I used to bat at No 4 or No 5 so it is different," said Nayar, who had a light training session with the team.

Nayar was delighted when he had a peek at coach Chandrakant Pandit’s diary in which he jots down his observations about every player. "There were some very fine things the coach had written about me. It was good to know that he values my presence in the team. I then had a chat with him and he explained my role.

"The chat provided me clarity about my position in the team and my role as a senior player. That helped a lot," concluded Nayar.

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