Ranji Trophy: Weak Mumbai up against Maharashtra
The 41-time domestic champions are yet to register their first win this season, after drawing two games (versus Railways and Karnataka) and suffering a nine-wicket loss to Gujarat after taking the first innings lead
A struggling Mumbai will take on arch-rivals Maharashtra in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A game beginning here on Thursday. Mumbai go into the must-win game with their qualifying chances for the quarter-final knock out hanging by a thread. The 41-time domestic champions are yet to register their first win this season, after drawing two games (versus Railways and Karnataka) and suffering a nine-wicket loss to Gujarat after taking the first innings lead.
Mumbai have suffered a huge setback with their skipper and key pacer Dhawal Kulkarni being ruled out of the crucial game after sustaining an ankle niggle. Their batting has let them down and the line-up that includes experienced campaigners Surya Kumar Yadav and Aditya Tare will need to step up and deliver. With opener Akhil Herwadkar dropped due to poor form, uncapped U23 player Bhupen Lalwani is expected to open with Jay Bista who too has misfired so far. A lot will also depend on how crisis man Siddhesh Lad, who has been named the stand-in skipper, perfoms.
Among the bright spots in Mumbai's campaign has been the display of all-rounder Shivam Dubey, who scored a century and another half century against Gujarat and was also among wickets. Maharashtra, on the other hand, also have a well balanced side with the likes of Ankit Bawane, Ruturaj Gaikwad and others. The contests between the two state rivals have been enthralling over the years and fans at the MCA Stadium in Gahunje can expect another no-holds-barred clash.
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