Ranji Trophy: Top-order batsmen must step up, says Mumbai skipper Dhawal Kulkarni
Skipper Dhawal Kulkarni urges batsmen to rectify mistakes against Gujarat and help Mumbai open their Ranji Trophy win account at Wankhede Stadium
Despite 41-time Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai having a home advantage for their league match against Gujarat at the Wankhede Stadium starting today, the visitors enjoy the upper hand as they have managed to take the first innings lead against the domestic giants in their last two encounters.
Mumbai, who started their campaign with a first innings lead against Railways, had to be satisfied with just one point against Karnataka last week. In the absence Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer, who are on national duty, Mumbai captain Dhawal Kulkarni wants the team's top-order batsmen to click.
"Yes, I've had a word [with the senior batsmen]. They are senior players and it is their responsibility to step up. It's the right time to rectify mistakes," Kulkarni said after team's practice session yesterday.
Mumbai's Suryakumar Yadav (left) with Gujarat's Piyush Chawla during a practice session on eve of their Ranji Trophy match at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Siddhesh Lad (201) and all-rounder Shivam Dube (199) have been Mumbai's top-scorers while top-order batsmen Suryakumar Yadav (172), Jay Bista (124) and Akhil Herwadkar (91) are still awaiting three-figure scores. Though ex-captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Aditya Tare scored a century against the Railways, his run tally is just 132 from four innings.
Gujarat's in-form captain Priyank Panchal is confident of his team's success despite not having experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel, who is in Australia with the Indian Test team.
"There are other guys who can play the role of Parthivbhai. He has groomed us nicely so that will help," said Panchal, who has scored 397 runs with the help of two hundreds in two games this season.
Dhawal impressed with in-form Armaan
Mumbai skipper Dhawal Kulkarni is impressed with Armaan Jaffer's current form. Armaan was included in the Mumbai Ranji squad against Gujarat after the U-23 middle-order batsman scored an unbeaten 300 against Saurashtra at Wankhede Stadium a couple of weeks ago. "Armaan is in good form. He has made a 300 which is not a small achievement in U-23 cricket. He is looking confident," said Kulkarni.
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