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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mumbai win the Ranji but who cares

Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy today to win the title for the 39th time. It was one of the interesting matches (let alone domestic) in recent history. Two factors was very evident here - the crowd support in the Tier-2 centre, the sporting pitch on offer. These two ensured that the match was interesting on all days. Only if the BCCI were sporting enough to pre-pone the match to allow Rahul Dravid play the match!!! The last match that I remembered was the one where Haryana defeated Bombay in the final - Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar being the rival players who made the match memorable.

Manish Pandey has proved himself in the IPL by being the only Indian to score a century. He took couple of seasons in the domestic championship to display his wares. This season he is the leading run-getter for the country but his innings in the Final was proof enough that there is hope for the future Indian team. The teenager has so much of time to spare at the crease and approached the target with a very calculated approach. Only after his dismissal did Mumbai have any visions of victory. Surely a talent to watch in the coming days.

The Karnataka team had the bowlers with the highest number of wickets in the competition as well as the highest run-getter. They had not lost the first innings lead in any of the matches until the final. The young team displayed enough gumption to prove their mettle as runners-up.

But, the way Mumbai performed in this match (with their attitude) does not make them worthy winners. The way their senior bowlers - Ajit Agarkar and Dhawal Kulkarni behaved was disgusting to say the least - this from the players of Sunil Gavaskar's backyard was not expected. The lip-service that was given to the young Karnataka players was visible on national television for everyone to see - I am not sure how the BCCI has allowed such behavior to carry on in their domestic structure. The behavior carried on during the third day when the captain Robin Uthappa was given a colorful send-off. Competition is good but when combined with such a disgusting show of character, it does not befit the champion status.

Catch of the match - The star of the match, Manish Pandey, took a stunner on the field to dismiss Nayar.

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