Well this season of Ranji Trophy for Mumbai has been very raw and promising with so many new talents coming up while some players making a comeback. This was indeed a season for Mumbai which was very different than their earlier seasons. Mumbai had some good matches, they had new young players coming up to the core, they showed less dependency on their senior players even though they did perform well. The batting department looked so strong that in many matches the side looked indestructible. It’s also quite obvious that senior players of the current Mumbai side have only few years left before they hang their boots and it’s good to see new young faces playing so strongly for Mumbai.
Hence, let’s take out a few positives from Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy this season-
After a string of controversies and blame game put on this youngster where he served a 6 months ban for using a non permissible substance, it was time for him to make a comeback into the Mumbai team. And Boy! He did made a comeback with a bang hitting 66 and 202* in the opening game vs Baroda. 20yr old Prithvi was smashing bowlers as if there was no tomorrow and the amount of confidence he had while hitting them was simply out of the world. Shaw’s 202 vs Baroda came off mere 179 balls which had 19 fours and 7 sixes, a knock which ensured a ticket to New Zealand for the Test Series in 2020.
There is something special about this youngster which makes him stand apart from other all-rounders in the domestic circuit. He bowls proper full time left arm spin and bats lower down the order coming at no.7 or 8. Still he has amassed a massive 514 runs with 6 half centuries in this season despite not getting any chances to bat up the order. The 22yr old all-rounder also has 24 wkts to go alongwith 514 runs which he scored at a batting average of close to 47.00!
With that amount of consistency, he certainly reminds us of Shakib Al-Hasan and if he continues playing like this, IPL and India Call ups are not too far either!
Tushar has been one of those players who lives on fire, he has said on record many a times, that he is never going to give up on pace no matter what it takes. Deshpande has around 12 wkts this season, the kind of stats which does not do justice to his talent but those who have seen this 23yr old bowl from close quarters know how dangerous he can be. He is right now amongst the very few fast bowlers across India and in Mumbai who is touching excess speeds of 140+ with the ball which makes him a big asset to the Mumbai team.
With Shardul Thakur busy with national commitments and senior pro Dhawal Kulkarni who is probably at the twilight of his career, it would be very wise to groom this young pacer as he can be the potential leader of the pace attack for Mumbai in future.
This left arm medium pacer was spotted by none other Sachin Tendulkar in his teens when he bowled some vicious deliveries to him in the nets. Since then he played at various age groups for Mumbai. After getting a much deserved chance to make a comeback, Royston showed good promise bagging 13 wkts in 4 games he got to play this season. The 26yr old has certainly been impressive and it shows Mumbai has a good bench strength even amongst their players who usually get less games to play.
23yr old Sarfaraz has had a career full of ups and downs so far. It all began with a score of 439 in a single innings of Giles Shield, followed by that he piled on runs for Mumbai at various age groups, he was amongst the top scorers in India U19 World Cup, then he was served a ban from MCA for age related controversy. Followed by that, he went to UPCA, played a few games, again came back to Mumbai, served his cooling period and made a comeback like a boss for Mumbai piling on 922 runs at an average of 150.00 which included back to back triple century & a double century.
The amount of maturity, composure and controlled aggression he has showed is by all means a SARFARAZ 2.0 and he has shut down his critics who criticized him on his fitness. Even in his recent interviews he made a statement that Kohli removed him from RCB because he did not have the fitness, many people called him fat but now people call me “Macho” and why not when he has made all the Mumbaikars proud with a dream comeback.
Gomel has been one of those traditional red ball players who had to wait for a long time before making a cut to the Mumbai Ranji Team. The 26yr old top order batsman has been scoring runs with great consistency in Mumbai’s club cricket since past one decade, he has grinded it hard to finally get a much deserved call up where he scored a confident 122 vs Madhya Pradesh in his debut match.
The kind of confidence he showed in his very 1st game is a clear indicator that he is going to be here for a long time and let’s hope he keeps progressing with every passing season.
As we said, this season had youngsters taking the centre stage, there have been many positives for Mumbai and it shows that Mumbai even without their senior commanders like Shardul Thakur, Aditya Tare, Suryakumar Yadav and Dhawal Kulkarni will be ready to form a strong new unit which will dominate the domestic circuit in the years to come.