For Mumbai,challenges after cakewalk

Ranji champions quickly wrap up season's third win on 4th day,but are now without Zaheer,Rahane.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai | Published: December 2, 2013 11:41:33 am

It took a mere 34 balls spread over 30 minutes for Mumbai to wrap up their third outright win of the season. The defending champions thrashed Vidarbha by 338 runs on final day of the fourth round of the Ranji Trophy match at Wankhede Stadium to take their tally to 19 points from four matches.

At the start of play,Mumbai needed just two wickets for victory and medium-pacer Shardul Thakur got Akshay Wakhare and Sandeep Singh in quick succession to finish with four wickets for second innings.

It must have been a big sigh of relief for the pacer who was finding it tough to break back into the Mumbai Ranji side. Though he played five Ranji matches last season,Thakur was still unable to find the pace he was looking for.

Thakur says he chalked out a plan to shed fat at the start of the off-season in March. Long gym sessions coupled with a proper diet seem to have paid off as he finished with figures of 4 for 48. Thakur said: “I wanted to cut down my weight. I knew if I wanted to bowl long spells,I needed to be fit. I worked with a trainer and later attended the NCA camp in Mysore.”

Though Mumbai bowled decently over the last four days,the youngsters will be tested in Zaheer Khan’s absence. Mumbai saw Thakur and debutant Akbar Khan doing the job under Zaheer but things could be different in the next few games. Before packing his bags for South Africa with teammate Ajinkya Rahane,Zaheer told his pace attack to concentrate on getting their line and length right while not to looking to generate pace.

Thakur couldn’t stop raving how Zaheer’s presence had huge a impact on the pacers. “He (Zaheer) will tell you in what session,which line and length one has to bowl. Like in third session,the carry is not much so one has to vary his length. That made the difference,” Thakur said.

Mumbai lead group A with 19 points but in Rahane and Zaheer’s absence,the 40-times Ranji champions will have a tough task ahead — one of which will be the inexperience of their bowling attack. Mumbai next host Jharkhand from December 6-9.

Brief scores: Mumbai 261 and 381/4 dec. (Aditya Tare 172,Ajinkya Rahane 133,Ravi Jangid 2/88) beat Vidarbha 113 and 191 (Shalabh Shrivastava 69,Shrikant Wagh 41 n.o.,Shardul Thakur 4/48) by 338 runs

Points: Mumbai  6 Vidarbha 0

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