‘Massive Winning This 42nd Title After 8 Years’: Mumbai Captain Ajinkya Rahane On Lifting Ranji Trophy 2024

‘Massive Winning This 42nd Title After 8 Years’: Mumbai Captain Ajinkya Rahane On Lifting Ranji Trophy 2024

Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy title for the first time since winning India's prestigious domestic tournament back in 2016.

Haridev PushparajUpdated: Thursday, March 14, 2024, 07:39 PM IST
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Mumbai Cricket Team posed with Ranji Trophy | Credits: Twitter

Mumbai skipper Ajinkya Rahane stated it was a massive moment for Mumbai to lift their 42nd Ranji Trophy title against Vidarbha on Thursday.

“This victory means a lot to us. It feels special and we have 10 players across all formats representing India and that’s something we are very proud of. I want to mention the BCCI’s role in giving importance to domestic cricket. Dhawal and myself played 4-5 years of domestic cricket before making our debuts for India. It’s massive winning this 42nd title after almost eight years.”

Rahane also took the opportunity to appreciate Vidarbha’s performance in the final.

“Vidarbha played really well and they bounced back really well. They showed great character after conceding the first innings lead. The grit and determination it was great. They have won Irani Trophy once or twice. So they are doing well. Other teams are doing good these days,‘’ he added.

Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni felt it was wonderful to end his career on a high note.

“Ofcourse you want to end your career on a high. I was not ready to bowl when the ball was given to me. But then they asked me to bowl and I took the wicket and it was great to take the first wicket in the Ranji Trophy final and the last wicket,‘’ Kulkarni said.

Dhawal Kulkarni on pressure by Vidarbha

Talking about the pressure Vidarbha applied on Mumbai, Kulkarni felt the Mumbai bowlers kept their nerve to eventually break the shackles of the visitors.

“Their batsmen were playing really well and wicket was easy to bat on. But we hung onto our nerves and put pressure on the Vidarbha batsmen. We knew we had to break that partnership between Akshay Wadkar and Harsh Dubey. Once we broke the partnership, we knew we were going to win,‘’ he added.

Kulkarni also delved on his post-retirement plans.

“Cricket has given me so much after all these years, so I definitely want to give back to the game.

Everything I do in the future would revolve around it.”

Ajinkya Rahane on coach Omkar Salvi's contribution to Mumbai's victory

Skipper Rahane felt Mumbai coach Omkar Salvi’s contribution in their triumph is immense.

“He has made a massive difference to our team. When he was our bowling coach, he would come to my room and take notes on how he can get better. I am very happy and proud of him. As a coach he is very low profile. Our journey started in June and Omkar sir made it happen. He focused on all players and there was emphasis on fitness,‘’ he added.

Coach Salvi also spoke a bit about his methodology.

” My philosophy is very simple. We have to empower the players and give freedom to the players. Players are the ones who do the magic on the field and we have to create the environment for them. The MCA has provided all the support in this regard and I am thankful to them,‘’ he added.

Vidarbha skipper Akshay Wadkar stated his team was positive all through the chase and kept believing in pulling it off.

” We never thought even for a moment about giving up or thinking negative. We always believed that we can win.”

Wadkar felt Mumbai’s composed approach was the key in their success.

“Their second innings batting showed a lot about their determination and courage. They did not give us a chance to come back in the game. So they were able to stitch partnerships which we could not in our first innings,‘’ he added.

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