Mumbai's Ranji Trophy team now in a spin trap!
With a little more than two months to go for the start of the Ranji Trophy season, defending champions Mumbai find themselves in the midst of a major predicament.
With Ramesh Powar deciding to play for Rajasthan and Ankeet Chavan battling to wriggle out of the spot fixing web that dealt a body blow to his blossoming career, the 40-time domestic champions will clearly miss the services of accomplished spinners during the competition.
Left-arm bowlers Iqbal Abdulla and Vishal Dabholkar will be leading the spin attack and it’s starkly evident that they will have major boots to fill. While Chavan was Mumbai’s leading wicket-taker in the last Ranji season with 33 wickets, Powar has easily been their best spinner over the past decade.
“We will definitely miss the experience of Ramesh from now. Ankeet too was brilliant for us last season, so it’s up to the remaining bowlers to rise to the challenge,” Mumbai coach, Sulakshan Kulkarni, told MiD DAY yesterday.
“We have to manage with whatever resources we have at our disposal, and we need to begin training a fresh crop of bowlers, especially spinners,” he added.
Powar too is apprehensive about the quality prevalent in the spin department. He told MiD DAY yesterday: “At the moment, I don’t see any good spinners, but I am hoping that someone will come up the ranks and take responsibility.”
Mumbai’s problems have been compounded by the fact that one of their promising young talents, Harmeet Singh, who was expected to go places after his excellent U-19 India debut, has failed to live up to his promise.
He could not break into the Mumbai team last year and sought a no objection certificate from MCA to explore other states and is likely to turn out for Vidarbha this year.
Mumbai’s former chief of selectors Padmakar Shivalkar feels the spinners who will now be featuring this season should grab their chance.
“We cannot stop anyone from going where they want to. So, we must make the best of the players we have. I am sure Iqbal and Vishal will realise the need to raise their game and perform accordingly.”