Ranji Trophy 2015-16 Final: Mumbai vs Saurashtra - Preview, Team News, Live stream and TV Channel Info
Mumbai have been bolstered by the return of Dhawal Kulkarni and will start as favourites against Saurashtra.
40-time champions Mumbai will start as undoubted favourites against Saurashtra in the final of the 2015-16 Ranji season to be held at Pune starting tomorrow. While Saurashtra have enjoyed a tremendous season progressing to the final hurdle after starting out in the plate division, Mumbai have showed yet again their might when it comes to Indian domestic cricket.
The match will give Saurashtra another shot at claiming their maiden Ranji Trophy title but will undoubtedly have fresh in their memory the defeat in the 2012-13 final within three days against the same opposition. With the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, missing out due to national duty, the match is being billed as a content between the upcoming Shreyas Iyer and the experienced Cheteshwar Pujara.
TV Channel and live stream details:
TV Channel: Star Sports 1, HD1 (English) and 3, HD3 (Hindi)
Online Stream: www.starsports.com
Date: 24 February 2016 (Wednesday)
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune
For live scores and updates, visit Sportskeeda.com
Strengthening the favourites tag for Mumbai is the news that medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni who missed the semi-final victory over Madhya Pradesh is back from injury and will slot straight back into the side which has a formidable bowling line-up consisting of Balwinder Sandhu, Shardul Thakur and Abhishek Nayar. A statement from the curator that the pitch will have an even green covering will only further enhance Mumbai’s chances.
Saurashtra will be not too displeased either as the new ball partnership of Jayadev Unadkat and Hardik Rathod showed their qualities in the comfortable victory over Assam in the last four stage. Though Pujara has not been as prolific as in previous Ranji campaigns, he has time and again shown that he is a big match player and Suarashtra will be hoping that he rises to the occasion and hand them their maiden triumph in the competition.
Aditya Tare(c&wk), Shreyas Iyer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Vishal Dabholkar, Akhil Herwadkar, Iqbal Abdulla, Siddhesh Lad, Abhishek Nayar, Balwinder Sandhu, Shardul Thakur, Suryakumar Yadav, Badre Alam, Nikhil Patil, Sufiyan Sheikh, Bhavin Thakkar.
Jaydev Shah(c), Sagar Jogiyani(wk), Cheteshwar Pujara, Sheldon Jackson, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Arpit Vasavada, Avi Barot, Chirag Jani, Kamlesh Makvana, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohsin Dodia, Vandit Jivrajani, Prerak Mankad, Deepak Punia, Hardik Rathod.
Pitch & conditions
Speaking after India’s loss against Sri Lanka in the 1st T20 two weeks back, Indian skipper MS Dhoni had likened the Pune surface to one seen in England. Though the ball is unlikely to do as much as it did that day, the bowlers, especially the pacers, are likely to get much purchase from the wicket.
An overcast weather prediction for Wednesday morning is likely to force the captain that wins the toss to bowl first and exploit the conditions.