Mumbai v Rest of India, Irani Trophy, Mumbai February 4, 2013

Kulkarni looks to build on Ranji success

ESPNcricinfo staff

Seamer Dhawal Kulkarni, who took nine wickets in the Ranji Trophy final to help Mumbai to their 40th title, has attributed his success this season to adding extra pace to his bowling and new variations he has worked on. He will be a key member of Mumbai's bowling attack when they take on the Rest of India in the upcoming Irani Trophy.

"This is a big game for me; (I have) never been part of a winning (Irani Cup) side," he said. "I am aiming to do well in this game. I am quite excited about it. Feeling quite confident after my last two games.

"I have worked more on my fitness, worked hard in the nets. The aim before the season was to bowl at a consistent pace which was not there earlier and I worked on that. I wanted to increase pace and that's what I did."

Kulkarni took 30 wickets at 22.90 in nine matches this Ranji season. Before his impressive performance in the final, he took 5 for 32 in the semi-final against Services. Kulkarni said he was also helped by the seniors in the Mumbai side, including Ajit Agarkar and Sachin Tendulkar. With Agarkar out of the Irani Trophy game due to injury, Mumbai would depend on Kulkarni's positive showing.

"I am happy with my performance, have been bowling well throughout the season but the only thing missing was wickets. I managed to get wickets in the last two games. (I am) feeling quite good about it."

Kulkarni will also play for India A in their tour game against Australia in Chennai on February 16.