Mumbai v Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy, quarter-final, Mumbai, 4th day January 11, 2014

Coaches shower praise on Jadhav and Zol


Soon after Maharashtra's staggering win over Mumbai the Ranji Trophy quarter-final, while the Mumbai camp wore a stunning silence, former Mumbai captain Madhav Mantri and former player and coach Vasu Paranjpe headed into the visitors' dressing room. Not by mistake, but it was because they wanted to compliment the Maharashtra team for their stunning comeback.

"He [Mantri] basically said 'you are a young side and you can become a formidable side' and Vasu sir said 'now that you've beaten Mumbai, don't lose to anyone else'. That's what we will all remember," an elated Maharashtra coach Surendra Bhave said after his team's eight-wicket victory at the Wankhede Stadium.

Despite wearing a dejected look, Mumbai coach Sulakshan Kulkarni credited the Maharashtra duo of Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Zol, whose unbroken 215-run partnership for the third wicket took the game away from Mumbai.

"They batted brilliantly, both of them," Kulkarni said after Mumbai's quest for a 41st Ranji title ended with a humiliating loss. "Let me tell you, we never expected anyone to put on 200 runs on this wicket, [that too] against Zaheer Khan. You need everything to do so well, you need temperament, skill, guts, tactics. They did everything."

Bhave admitted that Jadhav and Zol's composure made it a smooth ride for his team. "Given the conditions, we all thought the game was in balance at the end of the day's play yesterday. But Kedar and Vijay just took it away, first soaking the pressure and then with aggression," he said.

Jadhav and Zol, both natural strokemakers, were patient in the morning till the ball lost its shine. "It was all about seeing off the new ball," Bhave said. "And with Mumbai bowling that wide of off stump in the morning helped solve our problem to an extent."

In response, Kulkarni put the onus on captain Zaheer Khan. "On the field, inside the boundary, captain is the boss. Whatever decisions have been made in the field have been by the captain."

While complimenting the batsmen, Bhave didn't forget to acknowledge the work of Maharashtra's bowling unit on the third day that helped them recover after conceding a 122-run lead. "The third morning proved to be a turnaround as our batsmen got us closer to the Mumbai total. They showed the aggression that kind of shifted the onus.

"There was a point when I thought they should have mellowed down a bit, and take the score much closer than that. Having said that, once the bowlers started hitting the right areas - I knew that this was a sort of wicket where if you pitch in the right areas, the edge will come - so it was all about catching and our catching was brilliant. That's how we got back into the match."

Having beaten the traditional rivals in their own den was a huge boost for Maharashtra's inconsistent form of late. After having been promoted from the Plate league in 2011-12, Maharashtra finished at the bottom of Group B last year to be relegated to Group C.

"It's an outstanding feeling," Bhave said. "Beating Mumbai in Mumbai itself is big and doing it in a knockout match - in a quarter-final - just makes it better. All the credit goes to the players. The heart that they have shown in this match, it's truly outstanding. When you're down by 122 runs on a seamer-friendly track in Mumbai, not many teams would have shown that kind of lion-hearted attitude. Hats off to the players."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • talha on January 12, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    i feel lucky to be present there watching these amazing talent at wankhede reaalllllyyyyyyy AMAAAAAAAAAAAZING

  • Android on January 12, 2014, 2:10 GMT

    Amazing effort from Maharashtra, Jadhav is big talent. Watched a fair bit of the first innings action. Given that Zaheer Khan was completely outbowled by Thakur and was the slowest of the Mumbai frontline seamers, it is slightly disturbing that he is meant to be our strike bowler in NZ. Dont think you can be an effective paceman in international cricket bowling at 123 kmh.

  • Anthony on January 11, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    At this stage of reaching semi-finals of Ranaji Trophy, in batting, Kedar Jadhav is leading the batting statistics table, with an out-standing performance - 1034 runs, 94 average, strike-rate of 80.40 (with 135 boundaries and 15 sixes).

    The India team has a few 'flat-track-bullies' like Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, who shine in India, but flop miserably on foreign pitches. Time to look for their replacements.

    Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Zol would be ideal replacements. Both these batsmen have demonstrated the required temperament, skill, guts and tactics. They faced bowlers like Zahir Khan and put up a partnership of 215 runs in adverse conditions. This was unimaginable. An outstanding performance. Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Zol are now strongly knocking the doors of Selectors. They can not be ignored for long. Kedar Jadhav, looking at his strike-rate and agressive batting style, is a strong contender not only for tests, but also ODIs and T20s.

  • Suresh on January 11, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    Though the team I support has lost, kudos to Maharashtra for a superb performance. Jadhav and Zol take a bow. Zol clearly is destined to wear the India colours. Zaheer has been a wonderful servant to Indian cricket, but should gracefully retire now. I am sure he can do a great job mentoring the next generation of Indian pace bowlers.

  • Himanshu on January 11, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    Nice to see Sulakshan Kulkarni stick with his comments yesterday of it being a good bowling pitch and expecting Zaheer to be at his best. Zaheer was nowhere near his best and neither was the rest of the bowling attack, and for some reason came up with one of the worst strategies ever by bowling wide outside off in the initial overs. That allowed Zol and Jadhav to leave the balls easily when they could've been in a lot more trouble had Mumbai forced them to play more deliveries. Once they were settled in though, they took the attack to Mumbai and how. Kedar Jadhav may be one of the best middle order batsmen in India today, and his penchant for scoring big runs at a lightning-quick pace would get him a place in any international side.

  • Sushil on January 11, 2014, 16:18 GMT

    Clear Zaheer Khan is past his best. Time to move on in bowling just like India have in batting.

  • Steve on January 11, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    @Jway Aj: Agree with you about Z Khan. Maharashtra, while nothing should be taken away from their lionhearted performance which could become a watershed moment in their state cricket history, is no SA or any international side. Coming off a tough SA tour, Zaheer is expected to lead the way. He should have been bowling one end unchanged. Would be good time to retire gracefully. I think he is only one or two test failures from being dropped permanently from India squad.

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    Well Played guys...Cant believe Zaheer Khan couldnt pick up wickets and lead mumbai to victory....same thing happened wen India couldnt win tat first test...His bowling is average and not a match winner anymore....I remember Ajit agarkar single handedly lead mumbai to victory few seasons before against karnataka not tat he is great but just saying...Zaheer quit gracefully!!!

  • Ramakrishnan on January 11, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    Great win Maha...go ahead and win the trophy. In Zol you have another India star in the finishing process.

  • Subramani on January 11, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    While I feel very happy that Jadhav and Zol took Maharashtra to a deserving victory, I must say that Zaheer on whose abilities Mumbai expected to win, is a pale shadow of his early years. It is sad because I remember his bowling in the 2000 Champions Cup in Nairobi when he had seemed to be the man to fill the vacancy left by Srinath.I get the impression that Zaheer can now only mentor in regard to the attitude and field placements for the younger pace bowlers. It was the same in South Africa. If an unsung player like Sanklecha could with his limited pace yesterday could destroy Mumbai,it means either that the pitch had turned docile overnight or that the Mumbai batting was so inept. The wicket was the same.Jadhav and Zol had that grit to have the technique to counter all that Nayar and co were looking to exploit.That is bowling wide of the off stump and expecting the batsmen to drive through covers.My congratulations to Zol and Jadhav who should have been in the national team already.

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