Ranji Trophy 2006-07 November 18, 2006

Muzumdar to lead Mumbai

Cricinfo staff

Amol Muzumdar, the 32-year-old middle-order batsman, has been named captain of the Mumbai team for the forthcoming Ranji Trophy season. Muzumdar replaces Nilesh Kulkarni, the left-arm spinner, who led the side last season.

Explaining the decision, Dilip Vengsarkar, the chairman of selectors, said: "The selectors wanted Nilesh to concentrate on his bowling. He is our main strike bowler and captaincy was affecting his bowling." The Times of India also quoted Vengsarkar as saying that the four-member selection committee - which also included Sanjay Patil, Milind Rege and Abey Kuruvilla - unanimously decided to opt for Muzumdar. Pravin Amre, the Mumbai coach, supported the decision as well, saying that batsmen usually made better captains than bowlers.

Muzumdar had been in contention for captaincy last season as well, after Sairaj Bahutule left for Maharashtra, but Kulkarni was handed the job instead. Reacting to the decision, Muzumdar said he was "thrilled and excited", and hoped to pass on his experience to the younger players. "I would like to display whatever I have learnt over the past 13 seasons in my stint. Guiding the youngsters will be my primary task."

Muzumdar has played 113 first-class matches and averages 51.23, with 20 centuries. He was especially prolific in the Ranji Trophy last season, finishing sixth in the averages list in the eight matches he played.