Mumbai have the quality to take down any opponent, says Tare

Aditya Tare feels he ground work done over the last two seasons has helped the team make a smooth transition this year

Arun Venugopal
Captain Aditya Tare celebrates Mumbai's win with Siddhesh Lad, Mumbai v Railways, Group B, Ranji Trophy 2015-16, Mumbai, 4th day, November 18, 2015

Aditya Tare felt the ground work done over the last two seasons helped Mumbai make a smooth transition this year  •  PTI

Aditya Tare, the Mumbai captain, lauded his team's attacking mindset after they chased down 280 against Madhya Pradesh in Indore to confirm their spot in the quarter-finals of the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy.
They broke a few records along the way even as they accomplished their highest successful pursuit away from home in the competition. Mumbai, who had scored 295 to win against Railways in their previous game at the Wankhede Stadium, became the first side to register two 275-plus chases in a season.
"The fact that our batting side is in terrific form really helped us in these two run-chases because we know that we are a very attacking team," Tare told ESPNcricinfo. "Most of our batsmen score runs with a pretty high strike-rate. If you see, we have scored runs at a run-rate of almost 4-4.5. As a batting side, we are quite positive and attacking, and that sort of helps us to be in a position to win games outright.
"Most of the guys in the team, whenever we are chasing, have that vibes that we can do it with this batting order, especially with the style of batting that we have. We know we have the quality to take on any opposition, are not really [scared of losing wickets]. We aim at chasing those runs down, and are not too worried about what happens afterwards."
Mumbai have already won more games this season than they did during the corresponding period in the last two seasons. They started poorly last year too, losing outright and dropping first-innings points in their next game. Tare admitted that Mumbai was as much a beneficiary of the scheduling as their robust batting performances at home.
"We have played on good pitches. Last two years, we played more on seaming-friendly tracks [both home and away], where the batsmen, a few not all, took more time to score runs," he said. "Last year, the tournament started in December when it's quite cold around the country and the ball keeps doing a bit. This time it started in October where it was quite hot, so mostly you find flat track or turning track.
At home, our batting has been exceptional this season. I think that is the difference from the last two seasons. Even the bowlers are chipping in with a few wickets here and there. So, if you see, Vishal [Dabholkar] has about 20-25 wickets [27], Shardul [Thakur] is around 20 [23] wickets. If you see, in both the [last two] wins, the entire team has contributed."
Tare also revealed that their season-opener against Andhra in Vizianagaram, where they conceded the first-innings lead by seven runs, was an early wake-up call. "I thought after that first game [of the season] we sort of came together and we were ready," Tare said. "The boys sort of sat together and came up with whatever we felt we needed to do to. We felt bad after the defeat - I call it defeat even though we lost the first-innings lead narrowly. That really hurt everyone and we all wanted to prove a point.
"We had a turbulent season last year, but this year we have one year more of first-class cricket experience and wiser, and obviously we had a good off season," Tare, who took over the captaincy mantle from Suryakumar Yadav midway through the last season, explained. "We had a good tournament in Chennai where we won [the Buchi Babu]. We stuck together; we spend a lot of time together off the field."
Tare also felt despite being a predominantly young side, Mumbai have benefited from the experience of senior players. "Obviously we have lost Wasim Jaffer, Ramesh Powar, Ajit Agarkar - all guys who played so many years of first-class cricket, and we have lost Ajinkya [Rahane] and Rohit [Sharma] to the Test team," he said. "Fortunately we have Dhawal [Kulkarni] with us this year. And also [Abhishek] Nayar has always been there with us on and off the field. Nayar has played a big role in being that exceptional experienced player. He has always guided the youngsters and everyone looks up to him. He has played a crucial role, not just this season but in fact in the last two-three seasons.
Chandrakant Pandit, who took over as coach from Pravin Amre as head coach this season, said the faith invested by each member of the team in one another was "more satisfying than anything else." While he remained cautious about dwelling too much on Mumbai's success so far, he sounded pleased with the youngsters in the side. "This generation is entirely different, of course they have the confidence in their ability," Pandit said. "You have to just guide them in a proper way, they will respond well."
Tare also had words of appreciation for the new coach. "Every coach who comes in wants to do well. Chandrakant Pandit is no different," he said. "We had a great time with Pravin Amre last year because he had a really young side to play with and he played a major part in getting the batting order set. This year, I think, we are a higher quality one-year old team because we had the same set of boys who played last season. Chandu sir is quite good in keeping the team together."

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo