DESPITE being among the prolific run scorers in local cricket Shubham Ranjane somehow couldn’t impress the Mumbai selectors before this season. Some said he had an attitude issue, but those harsh speculations didn’t bother the 24-year-old all-rounder much.
Shubham, also, had to carry the baggage of being the grandson of former Test cricketer Vasant Ranjane, who played for India in 50’s. His father Subhash played for Maharashtra and even played for India under 19.
Ranjane did take a few tough decisions to further his career. He moved from Maharashtra to Mumbai after representing Maharashtra in under 23- and under 19 teams age group few years ago. The decision meant he first had to live in Mumbai and serve a two-year cooling period which is the norm set by Mumbai Cricket Association for those coming outside of Mumbai. But he was keen to make the shift as it meant a better job and better cricket opportunities.
“Never once did I feel what will happen if I am not picked by Mumbai. I had taken a decision and I knew I will excel if I continue hardwork. I just had to wait for right chance. Mumbai has a good cricketing culture and if you want to grow as a cricketer Mumbai will give you that chance,” Ranjane said.
His contribution was a key factor in Mumbai taking three points for first-innings lead in the Ranji game against Baroda. A decent medium-pacer who can swing the ball away grabbed three quick wickets that proved the difference in Mumbai gaining a 29-run first innings lead. After scoring 42 and taking 3 for 62, Ranjane scored 64 runs for Mumbai in second innings.
Mumbai, though, don’t still have an outright win but the three points will at least keep them hoping. To qualify for knockouts, they now need three outright wins.
Ranjane’s 64 helped Mumbai kill some valuable time on the last day, preventing Baroda from effecting any last-minute miracle. Mumbai were 75 for 4 one stage and had Yusuf Pathan not dropped opener Vikrant Auti twice in slips, Baroda could have well hoped to chase a small total. Mumbai, resuming at overnight score of 20 for 2, lost their captain Siddhesh Lad early. Shreyas Iyer continued in his flamboyant style, scoring 30 off 45 balls but was caught at deep point off medium-pacer Rishi Arothe.It was some batting practice for Eknath Kerkar and Dube before Mumbai declared for 307 for 7 and match was declared a draw.
Though it was Shivam Dube who hogged the limelight later in the day with his five towering successive sixes, Ranjane has slowly won the confidence in the Mumbai dressing room.
“I have proved myself and am just hoping to continue this one. My grandfather always told me you do your work and let performance do the talking. His words proved right today. Now we are hoping for three outright wins,” Ranjane said.
Brief scores (at Wankhede): Mumbai 465 & 307/7 (Ranjane 64, Kerkar 56, Dube 76, Hardik Pandya 2-21) drew with Baroda 436 (Waghmode 114, Solanki 133, Hardik Pandya 73, Dias 4-99
Points: Mumbai 3, Baroda 1
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