As we head closer to the David versus Goliath clash between Saurashtra and Mumbai for the Ranji Trophy title, we take a look at five players who chipped in with brilliant performances throughout the course of the tournament and helped brighten their respective team’s fortunes. This list is, of course, subjective and takes into account the impact a player has had on his side’s campaign.
#1 Shreyas Iyer (Mumbai)
Speaking to a major cricket website sometime in November last year, Shreyas Iyer had stated that he was really determined to prove to people that he could bat. And boy has he batted this season.
One will in fact run out of adjectives to describe the kind of impact that this twenty-something has had in ensuring that Mumbai remain strong contenders to win their forty-first Ranji title.
With 1204 runs this season, Iyer is a shade short of what will be an all-time record of the most runs made in a Ranji Trophy season. While the numbers Iyer has been able to notch up are eyeball grabbing, what stands out though, is the authority and control he has shown in run-making. Three centuries and seven half-centuries at a strike rate of over ninety underlines his dominance of the opposition bowlers.
In only his second first-class season, Iyer has shown a kind of maturity that one seldom comes across in India’s domestic setup. Perhaps his finest knock this season was when he orchestrated an intelligent run chase of 295 runs off 64 overs against Railways in Mumbai, by scoring a brisk 91.
Iyer’s A-game however, will be needed for the finals, if Mumbai are to ward off some stiff competition from a steely Saurashtran outfit.