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Ajinkya Rahane: It was a very good game

Updated on: 07 January,2023 10:55 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Tarkesh Jha |

Despite not getting the full six points, Mumbai captain Rahane hails his men for going all out for victory after being set 211 on final day by Tamil Nadu

Ajinkya Rahane: It was a very good game

Mumbai’s Yashasvi Jaiswal during his 66 not out v Tamil Nadu in their Ranji Trophy encounter at Brabourne yesterday. Pic/Ashish Raje

England head coach Brendon McCullum’s whatever-it-takes approach to win Test matches has taken the cricketing world by storm in the last year. Certain shades of that resonated in Mumbai’s effort with the bat in the third session of the final day of their Elite Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy tie against Tamil Nadu at the Brabourne Stadium.

Fell 74 short of the target

The Amol Muzumdar-coached unit got to 137-3 after 24.2 overs—74 runs short of the target of 211 that Tamil Nadu had set for them. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane said that teams are pushing hard to secure victories in first-class cricket but also simultaneously acknowledged that the tricky nature of the track on the fourth day eventually prevented Mumbai from landing the final blow. “It was a very good game. That’s what we want to see in first class cricket. Teams are going for it [win],” Rahane said after the game. 

‘The wicket was slow’

He added, “It was challenging, looking at the wicket, they kept all their fielders on the boundary line. The wicket was really slow, as it was the last innings, and we wanted to make sure that all the batsmen are batting there. We didn’t want to go in with the mindset that we are defending the ball. I think rotating the strike was the key.” 

Tamil Nadu’s Vijay Shankar celebrates his century. Pic/PTI
Tamil Nadu’s Vijay Shankar celebrates his century. Pic/PTI

However, Mumbai embraced the challenge well with opener Yashasvi Jaiswal notching 66 off 60 deliveries to help the team score at an impressive run rate of 5.63. The home side ensured that they didn’t get carried away with the possibility of an outright win as the think-tank encouraged the younger batsmen in the middle to balance their attacking instincts with an eye on the bigger picture. 

Rahane explained that the plan was to assess their situation at the end of 15 overs and that the pitch became more challenging to bat on as the game progressed on Friday. 

‘Just play normal cricket’

“The message from inside from me and Amol was to just play normal cricket. We will see after 15-16 overs what happens. But, keeping wickets in hand—that was our plan. If we have the chance, if the wicket is allowing us to play proper cricketing shots, then we will go for it. But, frankly speaking, it was challenging,” the 34-year-old admitted. Earlier, Pradosh Paul (169) and Vijay Shankar (103) aided the visitors to put up 548 in the second innings and essentially dampen Mumbai’s hopes of bagging six points from this contest. 

Also Read: Ranji Trophy: Fighting TN tons

Brief scores
TN 144 & 548 (P Paul 169, B Indrajith 103, V Shankar 103; T Kotian 4-129, S Mulani 3-147) drew with Mumbai 481 & 137-3 (Y Jaiswal 66*; S Kishore 2-67)

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