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News

Musheer: 'I batted with motivation to impress Sachin sir'

Mumbai's young batter also credits Ajinkya Rahana and Shreyas Iyer for their roles in putting up big partnerships

PTI
12-Mar-2024
Musheer Khan notched up a hundred in the Ranji final, Mumbai vs Vidarbha, Ranji Trophy final, 3rd day, Mumbai, March 12, 2024

Musheer Khan notched up a hundred in the Ranji final  •  PTI

Mumbai batter Musheer Khan has said that the presence of Sachin Tendulkar at the Wankhede Stadium during the third day of the Ranji Trophy final inspired him to "bat with motivation".
Musheer, 19, scored a patient 136 that all but batted Vidarbha out of the game. He had earlier made 203 not out in the quarter-final against Baroda, as well as a crucial 55 in the semis against Tamil Nadu.
"I did not even know that Sachin sir was here," Musheer said. "But when I was batting on 60, I saw on him on the big screen and (thereon) I batted with the motivation that he is watching today and I have to impress sir."
Besides Tendulkar, India's Test captain Rohit Sharma was also present at the ground. However, it was two other experienced players - Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer - who provided valuable advice in the middle, as Musheer put up century stands with both.
"I got to learn a lot during the partnerships," Musheer said. "It is a matter of pride for me that I got to bat with two Test players, it becomes easier for me too. Everyone in their team was trying to get Ajju dada (Ajinkya Rahane) out and it becomes easier for me.
"It was a dream for me to score a century in the Ranji Trophy final. Me and Iyer had a good partnership, we communicated well and (Iyer) bhai was insisting that we have to bat for long period and take the game as far as we can."
Musheer said there was no risk involved in his tendency to move down the line of deliveries since he has practised a lot for it.
"When I was dropped from the Ranji Trophy (squad) last year, I got to learn a lot about the (need to) work on the technique. I have done a lot of preparations with abbu, there still is a lot to do.
"There are some wickets where the ball keeps coming straight at you but one odd-delivery cuts (from the pitch), hence I try to not let the bowler settle down and find the right spot to bowl at.
"Risk is there in everything. There is risk in defending too - what if there is a bat-pad situation to get out? But I have a lot of confidence with it; I have done a lot of preparation and practise by moving in the front.
"I am also ready for the bouncer. If someone bowls that, I can duck too. I move in the front but not with the intent to hit unless I get a half-volley."
Musheer, who is now the youngest to have scored a century for Mumbai in a Ranji Trophy final, revealed that his brother and India player Sarfaraz Khan asked him to forget the first-innings failure and back himself in the second.
"I had spoken with bhai earlier and he told me that this is a good opportunity for me in the final, with everyone watching. If I would make runs here, it would be better for me in the future.
"When I got out (for cheap) in the first innings, (he told me) it's okay, back yourself in the second innings and play your game. He told me to bat the way I found was comfortable."