Pune: If history was a good platform to judge a team’s chances, then Mumbai would have been out and out favourites against Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy final to be played at the MCA stadium here from today. The 40-time champions taking on a side that is yet to win a Ranji title is a no contest. But then, as both camps pointed out on the eve of the game, all that is a thing of past. What matters is the performance over the next five days.
Chandrakant Pandit with Aditya Tare. Pic/ Bipin Kokate
Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare gave an even more logical perspective to the tag of being 40-time champions. “Barring three-four of us (himself included), none of us have been part of a Ranji trophy winning team. So I don’t think we have the right to carry that tag.
The teams of the past have won it 40 times. We are still young and we haven’t won it yet so it will be a good challenge for us to do something special this season,” he said.
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Tare is one of the few survivors from Mumbai’s last Ranji title, beating Saurashtra in the final three seasons ago. “It was my first full season and it was good to be part of a Ranji winning team. But this is a completely contrasting side to the one that won the title. I don’t think that game has any bearing on this season’s final,” Tare said.
Mumbai have had a reasonably good domestic season so far, but Tare, like a typical Mumbai cricketer, is not yet satisfied. “The bottom line is we haven’t won any trophy yet, so we can’t really judge us at the moment. We have done well to come into the finals but we still have a long way to go,” he added.
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The team had a session with Sachin Tendulkar, and Tare believes it was of good help. “It’s always nice to have him around the team. His inputs are always very crucial to each and every one of us. He makes a point to speak to everyone and he wished us and it was good to have him before the finals,” the 28-year-old said.
Tare and his boys have done a lot of things right this season, to reach the final. They need to continue doing that for another few days. The first of them would be the responsibility of Tare today, to call the coin correctly.