Mumbai face Tripura in must-win Ranji match

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Mumbai: Aiming for an outright victory to make it to the quarters, Mumbai will take on bottom-placed Tripura in their last Group C Ranji Trophy league game beginning here tomorrow.

For the 41-time champions, it’s a must-win game and it’s fortunate they face minnows Tripura

However, the hosts cannot be complacent and need to go all out with guns blazing when they take the field in the four-day match at the Wankhede Stadium.

Mumbai are in the third spot with 14 points, having won a lone match and drawn four others. Andhra Pradesh have completed their league campaign and are on the top of the table with 19 points, while Madhya Pradesh are at number 2 with 15 points from five matches.

This season has been pretty tough for the Mumbai side coached by former India stumper Sameer Dighe. They have been able to defeat only Odisha in Bhubaneswar outright while drawing the rest.

Their in-form player, Prithvi Shaw, who has scored three hundreds this season in the championship, is a key player on his current form.

But the 18-year-old needs support from the other top order batsmen who had not been as consistent. He, along with opener Jay Bista, will need to provide a decent start.

In the lower-middle order, Siddesh Lad, who has a hundred and two fifties this season to his credit, has been Mumbai’s crisis man, but skipper Aditya Tare has not been among the runs and needs to fire big in this game.

Skipper Tare conceded that it was a must win game and that the boys were aware of the situation.

“One positive thing is it is in our hands. We don t depend on any other result. If we win this game we deserve to qualify. If we don t, we do not deserve to qualify. As simple as that, ” Tare told reporters here.

“We played three away games and we fared pretty well.

We could not get enough points from two home games. Had we got the lead in either of those games we would have been in a better position? The game at BKC (in suburban Mumbai against Tamil Nadu) we should have taken the first-innings lead,” explained the Mumbai skipper.

“Our approach will remain the same. We will try and play our brand of cricket. We will try and be as aggressive and positive as we can. Yes, they are an unknown quantity.

“I don t think we have ever played them..at least I have never played Tripura. So we might take more time adjusting to their players but if we do our things correctly, we will be able to achieve the result we want,” added Tare.

Mumbai bowlers also need to step up big in home conditions.

Visitors Tripura are out of contention with just four points in hand but would be motivated to catch the eye in their maiden game against the oft-crowned champions.

They have drawn four games this season and had lost only to Madhya Pradesh by 10 wickets.

An outright victory looks beyond their means but they could certainly frustrate the hosts from recording a win.

Meanwhile, Tare praised Shaw, saying he is in a terrific touch.

“He has batted really well in whatever games he has played. It is a good sign for us that he is playing this game as well…it is going to be a boost for us…top of the order he puts the team in a good position,” Tare signed off. (PTI)

 

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