A young but mighty Mumbai have history and form firmly on their side when they chase their 41st Ranji Trophy title by locking horns with Saurashtra, who are taking a rare shot at domestic cricket’s biggest prize, in the summit showdown beginning here tomorrow.
While Mumbai will be appearing in their 45th final of the top domestic tournament, it is only the second time that Saurashtra are in the title clash.
Incidentally, it was Mumbai who put paid to Saurashtra’s hopes of a maiden triumph by wrapping the final in three days in 2012-13. That was the only time Saurashtra came close to the title. Mumbai won that match by an innings and 125 runs for their 40th trophy.
Three seasons later, the scene remains more or less the same and it will take a huge effort from Saurashtra to upset a side which has almost won more titles than the rest of India combined.
For the record, since 1990-91, Mumbai haven’t lost any of the 10 finals they have played.
Mumbai have at least five of those who played in the earlier final in the squad — Aditya Tare, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shardul Thakur and Vishal Dabholkar.
The Saurashtra side, coached by the then opener Shitanshu Kotak, is likely to have at least seven from last time’s playing XI — Sagar Jogiyani, Arpit Vasavada, Sheldon Jackson, Jaydev Shah, Kamlesh Makvana, Jaydev Unadkat and Dharmendra Jadeja in the squad.