Thursday, November 6, 2008

A lopsided win!

Mumbai scored a convincing 237-run victory against Rajasthan to start their campaign on an ominous note.
states the Cricinfo match report. And it is ominous all right - for Mumbai.

Here is the scorecard for that match and it makes for interesting reading. Batsmen who scored in the first innings decided to go to AWOL in the second. And batsmen who scored in the second innings failed to do anything of note in the first.

Amol Muzumdar failed in both innings.

The one batting success Mumbai have, Rohit Sharma, will soon be lost to the team for the England series. And given Rahul Dravid's shaky form, Sharma may be lost to Mumbai for the rest of the season.

And given that Mumbai's path in the Ranji Trophy is only going to get harder ( Delhi, Punjab and Saurashtra), the batting performance leaves much to be desired.

Ditto the bowling performance. In the first innings, Dhawal Kulkarni and Romesh Pawar were the only wicket takers. In the second innings, the spoils were shared by Kulkarni, Powar and Malvi.

Agarkar and Bahutule were no shows, with bat and ball.
This does not augur well for Mumbai for the rest of the campaign.

And finally, the team selection itself.

Where is Abhishek Nayar? And Iqbal Abdulla?

Abdulla was the go to guy last season so where is he now?

And Sairaj Bahutuule, 36 year old with creaking knees with no form or performance to speak of ahead of the campaign, ahead of Abhishek Nayar?

Hiken Shah will come in for Rohit Sharma in the next round but how is this team going to slot Abhishek Nayar in?

And what happened to selection continuity? How is Bahutule even in a Mumbai cap? Iqbal Abdulla was the ungroomed heir to Nilesh Kulkarni's spot, so why is Ankit Chavan being played in the squad instead?

Mumbai may have won by a comfortable margin against Rajasthan, but the win raises more questions than answers.

And that is ominous.