'They Are The Best No. 9 & 10 In India': TN Coach Sulakshan Kulkarni In Awe Of Mumbai's Lower-Order Batters

'They Are The Best No. 9 & 10 In India': TN Coach Sulakshan Kulkarni In Awe Of Mumbai's Lower-Order Batters

The troika of the seasoned Shardul Thakur, Tanush Kotian and Tushar Deshpande batted Tamil Nadu out of the Ranji Trophy semi-final recently.

Haridev PushparajUpdated: Tuesday, March 05, 2024, 05:10 PM IST
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To get a sneak peek into Mumbai's rousing success in the current season of the Ranji Trophy, all one needs to do is to take a glance at the performance of their Nos 9, 10 and 11 in the last two innings.

The troika of the seasoned Shardul Thakur, Tanush Kotian and Tushar Deshpande have been in rollicking form in the first innings of the semifinal against Tamil Nadu and before that the second innings of the quarterfinal against Baroda.

Kotian & Deshpande's record-breaking stand

The quarterfinal saw Kotian and Deshpande create history of sorts with their hundreds at No 10 and 11 which was the second time in First Class history that batters at those positions scored tons in the same innings.

Along with Thakur's 10, the trio had amassed 253 runs in all in that second innings against Baroda.

Lord Shardul knocks out Tamil Nadu

Come the semifinal and it was Thakur's turn to take on fire with fire as he smashed a counter-attacking maiden First Class hundred (109) comprising 13 fours and four sixes when Mumbai's chips were down.

Kotian's 89, with 12 fours, complemented Thakur's 109 while Deshpande contributed 26 runs of his own coming in at No 11 as Mumbai stretched Tamil Nadu.

TN coach in awe of Mumbai's lower-order batters

Tamil Nadu coach Sulakshan Kulkarni, a man who knows a thing or two about Mumbai cricket, was very clear about his thoughts regarding Mumbai's batting line-up post the semifinal.

"They are the best (Nos) 9, 10 (and) in India. I told this in the dressing room that their batting starts after (No) 6. I can take the horse to the water, the horse has to drink.โ€

Shardul 'Beefy' Thakur

Talking about Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin's cheeky post on social media after Thakur's hundred in the semifinal comparing the Palghar man to the legendary Ian Botham showed how far he has traversed in his journey.

Although, Thakur is currently not a part of the Indian team's scheme of things, his evolution over the years as an impactful wicket-taking bowler coupled with the ability to score counter-attacking fifties and hundreds makes him a domestic beast.

Come the final on March 10th, Madhya Pradesh or Vidarbha will have to deal with this incredible lower-order depth that Mumbai possess to have any chance at the Ranji Trophy silverware.

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