Mumbai start favourites against Saurashtra in Ranji Trophy final

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Mumbai start favourites against Saurashtra in Ranji Trophy final. (Reuters) Mumbai start favourites against Saurashtra in Ranji Trophy final. (Reuters)
SummaryBut Saurashtra have upset many an apple cart en route to the final.

History and form make them the odds-on favourites but Mumbai are not taking things for granted ahead of tomorrow's Ranji Trophy summit showdown with Saurashtra, who have upset many an apple cart en route to the final.

The sheer weight of having senior cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, captain Ajit Agarkar and Wasim Jaffer along with top performers like Abhishek Nayar and wicketkeeper Aditya Tare in their ranks tilts the scale heavily in favour of the 39-time champions.

West Zone rivals Saurashtra, who have advanced to the summit clash for the first time, are the underdogs in the five-day clash on a wicket that is believed to be loaded heavily in favour of the pace bowlers, at least initially.

However the hosts, who have lost just four finals out of the 43 they had figured in, in the long history of the national championship, are not taking things for granted.

"I am very happy with the way it has gone for us, from struggling a bit to qualifying and being in the final. Saurashtra, obviously, is a tough opposition who we cannot underestimate," said Agarkar at the pre-match media conference today.

"It's a one-off game and we need to be at our best. Looking forward to the game," said the wiry former India pacer who had notched up an important century against Services in the semi-final at the Palam ground in New Delhi.

Saurashtra skipper, Jaydev Shah, said that it was very important for his team to get off to a flying start.

"It's a very big game for us. Mumbai is an experienced side. We would like to get a good start and put in best effort in the first innings)."

Shah, who had scored 87 in the semi-final at home against Punjab, said the key against Mumbai would be to score heavily and put them under pressure.

"Against Bombay you always need to score big runs and then put pressure at the start as if they don't get a good start, they sometimes collapse. If you take a few crucial wickets in between and hold them out it will be good," he said.

It's though, easier said than done, as Saurashtra realised in their last meeting in Rajkot in the league stage in December, when Mumbai rattled up over 600 and bowled them out for 300 to take the vital first-innings lead.

Both the teams would miss key members for the all-important clash with Saurashtra appearing the more handicapped in

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