“This generation has been fantastic…” Muzumdar on his young team

Muzumdar on his young team
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Amol Muzumdar may finally breathe a sigh of relief after leading Mumbai to within a touching distance of a record 42nd Ranji Trophy success after three hundred and eighty-two days on the job. In the final, which begins on June 22 in Bengaluru, they will face Madhya Pradesh.

Since taking over as head coach from Ramesh Powar in June 2021, he has made it his aim to get the squad “back on track in red-ball cricket,” and the months of hard effort have paid off.

Muzumdar’s success credo was simple: stick to the procedure that was working in the dressing room and give it your all till the end.

“You’re dealing with a different generation here,” Muzumdar says of Mumbai’s history and the current group of players. “I personally believe [the final] is a different game…”

“We haven’t gone over the quarter-finals, semi-finals, or finals yet. There are processes in place in the dressing room, and we’d like to stick with them until the final ball of the Ranji Trophy season is bowled. That was our pledge at the beginning of the season.”

He also emphasizes an individual’s improvement – which gives him “immense delight” – rather than the team’s outcome in the process he’s describing. Players have stood up for Mumbai despite just making it into the knockout stages.

Suved Parkar hit a double-century on debut; Sarfaraz Khan hit 153; Shams Mulani took a five-for, hit a fifty against Uttarakhand, and then hit back-to-back half-centuries against Uttar Pradesh;

Yashasvi Jaiswal has hit three consecutive hundreds; Hardik Tamore rose to the occasion in the absence of the experienced Aditya Tare; Armaan Jaffer played the long innings, and the bowlers collectively chipped in at

As a result, the results were evident once everyone realized what they were doing.

Apart from that, Muzumdar and the staff were also concerned with regulating the workload of the bowlers and ensuring that they did not become burnt out.

Without looking back, a five-bowler approach was decided even before the season began. What’s the end result? Mulani tops the bowling statistics with 37 wickets, followed by the pace combo of Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohit Avasthi with 26 strikes and offspinner Tanush Kotian with 18 wickets.

And, more crucially for Mumbai, all five matches have been played.

“The bowling unit has been amazing,” Muzumdar remarked. “They’ve been putting in the effort all year,” he said. “The trainers and physiotherapists did an outstanding job. Dhawal has done an excellent job of leading the pack. He’s the type of man who mentors others, takes them under his wing, and offers them the freedom to accomplish what they want.

“Shams Mulani’s… outstanding season performance. He didn’t get a wicket in this match [semi-final], but he’s been fantastic all season. Some adjustments were made over the season, and they’re paying off.”

Muzumdar believes that the “brave” generation next has a “feeling of the Bombay legacy” from their upbringing in Mumbai’s maidens and that every player treasures the coveted Mumbai cap.

For example, before the knockouts, Muzumdar stated to Jaiswal: “You show me if you enjoy batting. It’s pointless to converse in the dressing room. You may show that you enjoy hitting if you are between those 22 yards “,

And Jaiswal backed it up with three centuries in a row. In the semi-final, he absorbed 54 deliveries to get off the mark before being dismissed for 181.

Jaiswal, on the other hand, was playing first-class cricket just days before the Ranji quarter-finals after joining Rajasthan Royals to prepare for T20 cricket.

Because Ranji was played in two phases, keeping the team motivated was a “different challenge this season,” but Muzumdar said that team bonding sessions with the National Security Guards (NSG) in October last year and an in-season fitness program for the Ranji players who weren’t in the IPL during the months of April and May also helped.

The final is barely four days away, but Muzumdar is unconcerned about his opponents Madhya Pradesh or their coach Chandrakant Pandit, who has recently led Mumbai to two Ranji crowns and Vidarbha to two.

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