Usually, lesser-known teams are not upbeat about taking on Mumbai in domestic cricket. However, after Jharkhand dominated the domestic giants in the last Ranji Trophy encounter, Orissa, too, believe that they have a chance when they meet Wasim Jaffer-led team here on Saturday.
Orissa skipper Biplap Samantray was confident on the eve of their clash against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium. “The last match has proved that if Jharkhand can take an innings lead from Mumbai then why can’t we. We have defeated Jharkhand,” he said.
Mumbai was rocked by rumours that captain Abhishek Nayar had been sacked following the Jharkhand debacle. But the controversy has not dented their spirit. Jaffer is back as captain after stepping down two years back.
The Mumbai Cricket Association on the day of selection, cleared the issue stating that Nayar is unfit. However, the association has not taken the performance in the last match lightly. Mumbai Cricket Association’s joint secretary Nitin Dalal met the team on Friday and spoke to them about the pride of the lion crest and told them to not repeat the mistakes they made against Jharkhand.
Meanwhile, Jaffer accepted the responsibility without a fuss. “Only the captains have changed.
Zaheer was there earlier and now Abhishek is injured, so I have taken over. I don’t think it will make much difference. Getting the best out of the talented players will be a challenge,” he said.
A win in this game would ensure Mumbai a knockout berth.
Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer said that 42-year-old Pravin Tambe might be in the playing XI on Saturday. If it happens, the leggie will become the oldest debutant in the history of first class cricket in India. “We might look to play him (Tambe). He is an experienced guy and obviously brings a lot of variety as well and he can also bat. We haven’t decided our playing 11 but I am sure he is a strong contender,” Jaffer said.
Delhi v Vidarbha at Delhi
Karnataka v Punjab at Hubli
Gujarat v Haryana at Ahmedabad
Baroda v Services at Vadodara
Madhya Pradesh v Saurashtra at Indore
Railways v Tamil Nadu at Delhi
Andhra v Himachal Pradesh at Visakhapatnam
Goa v Hyderabad at Porvorim
J&K v Assam at Jammu
Kerala v Maharashtra at Kannur