Irani Trophy 2016 Preview, Mumbai v ROI: Ranji champs aim for a perfect end to the season

Irani Trophy 2016 Preview, Mumbai v ROI: Ranji champs aim for a perfect end to the season

Mumbai
The champion Mumbai team with the Ranji Trophy 2015-16 trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The 81st edition of the Ranji Trophy met its conclusion with Mumbai being crowned as the champions for the 41st time in the tournament’s history. Mumbai will now meet the Rest of India team in the last tournament of the Indian domestic season, Irani Trophy. Mumbai have had a wonderful season this year after being knocked out of the tournament in the group stages previous season. They would now want to end the season on a high with a win over the Rest of India team. Both teams meet on 6th March 2016 at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai.

Speaking of the past history of the tournament, the Irani Trophy was first played in the 1959/60 season to mark the 25 years of Ranji Trophy. Mumbai has appeared 28 times in the Irani Trophy, the most number of times by a team. Mumbai was also the first team to compete with Rest of India in 1960. They have won this tournament 15 times. However, the last occasion came in 1997/98 season. Since then, they have played on seven occasions and have lost every time.

Mumbai:

Aditya Tare and his Mumbai boys have had a dominating season. Tare himself had Shreyas Iyer finished the current season of the Ranji Trophy as the leading run scorer with a staggering 1321 runs at an average of 73.80. The most astonishing aspect though is his strike rate of 92.70. Akhil Herwadkar has also been piling up runs under the shadow of Iyer and emerged as the second highest run-getter this season with 879 runs Surya Kumar Yadav also had a fruitful season, finishing fourth in the run-getters chart with 788 runs.

Skipper Aditya Tare (569 runs) and Siddhesh Lad (691 runs) will form the spine of the batting order. Jay Bista, who was dropped after the quarter-final from the squad was added to the team again after a century and a double century in the CK Nayudu final. Dhawal Kulkarni will lead the bowling attack along with Shardul Thakur and Balwinder Sandhu Jr. The trio has been outstanding and were the key reason behind Mumbai’s stupendous show this season. Iqbal Abdullah and Vishal Dabhokar will take the spin bowling responsibilities.

Rest of India:

Madhya Pradesh wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha, who finished the Ranji Trophy season with 645 runs including four successive fifty-plus scores in the knockouts, will lead the Rest of India. The Rest of India has a perfect mix of batsman and bowlers. Jammu and Kashmir’s Ian Dev Singh and Bengal’s premier batsman Sudip Chatterjee are the most in-form batters in the team. Karnataka batsman Karun Nair, who has scored 500 runs this season and Vidarbha’s opener Faiz Fazal, who has 559 runs, will also be the players to watch out tomorrow. Saurashtra’s Sheldon Jackson and Andhra’s Srikar Bharat are the extra wicketkeeper’s in the squad apart from Ojha. And, under normal circumstances, only one of them might get to play. All-rounders Jayant Yadav and Stuart Binny will provide the variety to the team.

Rest of India boasts of the top two highest wicket takers. Delhi’s left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem with 51 wickets and Assam’s seamer Krishna Das with 50 wickets. Rajasthan pacer Nathu Singh, Punjab pacer Barinder Saran, who recently made his international debut in Australia and Saurashtra’s Jaydev Unadkat form the fast bowling attack. Vidarbha spinner Akshay Wakhare is al in the scheme of things.

Irani Cup squads:

Mumbai:

Aditya Tare (C & Wk), Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Akhil Herwadkar, Siddhesh Lad, Sufiyan Shaikh, Nikhil Patil (Jr.), Iqbal Abdullah, Shardul Thakur, Balwinder Singh Sandhu (Jr.), Badre Alam, Bhavin Thakkar, Vishal Dabholkar, Jay Bista.

Rest of India:

K S Bharat, Faiz Fazal, Karun Nair, Sheldon Jackson, Naman Ojha (C & Wk), Stuart Binny, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Nathu Singh, Jaydev Unadkat, Barinder Saran, Krishna Das, Sudeep Chatterjee, Ian Dev Singh, Akshay Wakhare.

Mumbai skipper talks about the Ranji season and their preparations for the upcoming challenge – Interview Aditya Tare: ‘It was really good to win Ranji Trophy with such a young side’