Thirty nine-time Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai took a severe drubbing at the hands of Tamil Nadu in the semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. But coach Sulakshan Kulkarni is quite happy with the way things panned out for Mumbai.
"Looking at the larger picture, we did quite well. There were more pluses. Sometimes you win the championship, but don't have a lot of positives. "We got many youngsters to perform like Suryakumar Yadav, who scored more than 700 runs, Kaustubh Pawar, Ankeet Chavan, Balwinder Singh Sandhu (Jr), Kshemal Waingankar. Mumbai cricket is in good health. We have got a good bench strength," said Kulkarni after Tamil Nadu entered their 11th Ranji Trophy final by virtue of the first innings lead.
Kulkarni said the famous khadoos attitude of Mumbai cricketers was missing in the semis. "We had our chances in this game, but our batting let us down completely. This was our lowest total of the season. That khadoos approach should come. We also have to consider that Tamil Nadu had all their top players available. So, man-to-man they were stronger than us," lamented the former Mumbai wicketkeeper-batsman.
He, however, stressed on skipper Wasim Jaffer's bad form. "Biggest factor was Wasim Jaffer's failure with the bat. He is class apart when in form. He struggled in this season and we missed him in this match especially," said Kulkarni. Kulkarni though said Ajit Agarkar fiasco didn't affect the side.