We need to tighten up our bowling: Agarkar

Jan 11, 2013, 01:36 IST | Harit N Joshi

Ajit Agarkar & Co would be pleased with their performance in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Baroda after a scratchy show in the eight league games. Mumbai will now face spirited Services in the semi-final at New Delhi's Palam Cricket Ground from January 16-20.

It was a mere formality yesterday as Mumbai had already qualified for the semis on the basis of first innings lead against Baroda at the Wankhede Stadium. Chasing 670, Baroda were 137-3 when the match was called off.

Kaustubh Pawar and Ajit Agarkar
Kaustubh Pawar celebrates his ton against Baroda yesterday (inset) Ajit Agarkar. PIC/Suresh KK

Mumbai seem to be peaking at the right time and skipper Agarkar couldn’t have asked for a better show from his batters. All the frontline batsmen are now among the runs.

Abhishek Nayar (870), Aditya Tare (719) and Hiken Shah (718) are the top-scorers for Mumbai and they have ensured the absence of Rohit Sharma is not felt. Wasim Jaffer, who missed a few games in the beginning due to his Haj pilgrimage, is back in form with two centuries and four fifties. Jaffer skipped the last day’s play to be with his ailing father following the team management’s approval.

Pressure game
“A knockout is always a pressure game. So, definitely there were a lot of positives for us. We batted well, got a big total on a wicket that was good to bat on. “We then bowled them out in under 100 overs.

Most of the batters have got runs and are in good nick. Sachin has got a hundred after a bit of a break owing to the Test series against England. Wasim came and played a match-winning innings,” said Agarkar.

Agarkar now wants his bowlers to tighten up a bit. “We can improve in bowling as well… have a little bit of control. The wicket kept slowing down as the match progressed instead of helping the spinners. But overall, I am happy with the bowlers,” he said.

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