Mumbai team probably got too frazzled looking at the red-soiled Chennai wicket against Tamil Nadu, writes Amol Muzumdar
Chennai: To put things in perspective, batting collapses have happened before and we will see more in the future. That’s the way the game of cricket goes.
But what stunned me about Mumbai’s performance against Tamil Nadu which resulted in an innings defeat here at the Chidambaram Stadium yesterday was that I couldn’t see a semblance of a fight from my position in the commentary box.
Let’s go back to the start of this match, which is where I reckon the Mumbai team lost the plot. They probably got too frazzled looking at the red-soiled wicket. In other words, they lost it in the mind where visions of it spinning and the ball spitting from a length gained more importance than that great ingredient to success — application. Where was the fight? I could not see it.
Let’s leave Wasim Jaffer out of this because he has just come out of injury but save Shreyas Iyer, no player showed any indication of wanting to sum up the situation and grind it out. Ask any Tom, Dick and Harry and they will tell you that these are the very qualities which you associate Mumbai cricket with. The batting in both innings had meek surrender written all over it. They surrendered as if there is no tomorrow.
No excuses, please
Let’s not get swayed by this talk about the track. This is no time for excuses never mind the fact that we don’t see such wickets often on the domestic scene. But if you are a player looking to play an entire season, you are expected to expect and tackle wickets that are different. And this one was different! Not every track will be green, not every pitch will be shirtfront. Tamil Nadu backed their spin strength and played accordingly. The track was fair to both teams.
Back them, but...
There are a lot of youngsters in this team and while I believe they should be backed and given four to five games to know whether they have got the qualities to succeed, they must deliver somewhere down the line.
There must be some thorough thinking behind backing them. Youth must not be the sole criteria for selection. Hopefully, this defeat will give rise to introspection. I’m worried for Mumbai but I remain hopeful. It’s a question of application and adaptation; strong leadership as well. Good luck to Mumbai cricket.
Chennai: Tamil Nadu virtually qualified for the knockout stage of the Ranji Trophy after they crushed Mumbai by an innings and 44 runs on the third and penultimate day here yesterday.
Tamil Nadu collect seven points, including a bonus point to take their tally to 23 from seven games. Mumbai have 11 points from six matches.
Having allowed Tamil Nadu to amass 417 all out in their first innings, Mumbai were faced with a Herculean task of scoring 276 to force the home side to bat again in their second essay. After resuming their second innings on 12 for 1, they were spun out for 232 in 102.5 overs, 44 short of making Tamil Nadu bat again. — PTI