Ranji Trophy: Mumbai reach 5 days prior to prepare against Jharkand
Former champs leave no stone unturned to beat Jharkhand; even stay at same hotel as they did during their 2010 victory over Karnataka
Mumbai's Ranji Trophy team is leaving no stone unturned in their quest to clinch Title No 41.
Stand-in skipper Abhishek Nayar
Mumbai reached Mysore a good five days in advance to kick off their preparation for the quarter-final against Jharkhand starting today.
The Mumbai team management has also ensured that they stay at their "lucky" hotel (Sandesh The Prince) where Wasim Jaffer's Mumbai team beat Karnataka in a thrilling Ranji Trophy final in 2010 to win their 39th title.
After a dominating show in the league stage where Mumbai topped Group 'B' with 35 points, Mumbai's biggest challenge would be to continue from where they left, considering Mumbai did not have a good limited overs campaign in the last two months.
The other significant change for the team is new leadership with former skipper Abhishek Nayar taking over the reins in the absence of injured Aditya Tare.
"Our biggest challenge is to get into the five-day cricket mindset again. In the last couple of months we have played a massive amount of one-day and T20 cricket.
Hence, it is important to change that mindset. We haven't practiced differently for this (five-day format). We want to ensure we are at the top of our game tomorrow (Wednesday) morning," Nayar told mid-day
For most players, a long gap between the league stage and knockouts will be new, but Nayar has experienced this before.
"I have experienced a season where we played a one-day tournament after the Ranji Trophy league stage was over before returning for the knockouts. Everyone is a professional cricketer here. They know what is the challenge ahead of them. We have to quickly adapt to it rather than complain. Thanks to the MCA (Mumbai Cricket Association), we reached Mysore well in advance to prepare ourselves the best we can. It is up to us to deliver now," said Nayar.
Nayar did not enjoy a lot of success when he first led Mumbai's Ranji team in 2013 at the Wankhede Stadium where the hosts lost on the first innings to Jharkhand — their quarter-final opponent.
"I have no goals (as far as captaincy is concerned). It is of course a huge challenge to lead the team. I am not going to change a lot. I would be happy to do half of the things that Adu (Aditya Tare) did," Nayar signed off.