Agarkar lauds team’s effort against Baroda
Mumbai continued to dominate proceedings on the third day of the match against Baroda at the Wankhede Stadium in the ongoing quarter-finals. After piling on a big score in the first innings, Mumbai claimed five Baroda wickets to send the visitors on the back foot at the end of third day’s play.
The lower-order batsmen including Mumbai captain Ajit Agarkar contributed with the bat to help the home team reach 645 for nine, before declaring their innings earlier in the day. Later, although the Baroda openers gave the visitors a good start, the Mumbai bowlers struck in the last session to leave the Yusuf Pathan-led side reeling on 167 for five.
While speaking to the media after the end of day’s play, Agarkar reflected on the match so far and lauded his team’s efforts to keep Mumbai in an advantageous position.
Excerpts from his media interaction:
On Mumbai’s bowling
We bowled well initially as well. They left quite a few balls started well, and didn’t really nick too many [deliveries]. [But], when you have 645 [runs behind you] you are not really worried. But the more time you spend on the field the more tired you get. They still have got decent batters in their line-up so we wanted to get few wickets. Getting five wickets eventually turned out to be really good. We couldn’t have asked for more after the start that they had.
On whether there was a delay in introducing the spinners
Not really. We have four seamers including Abhishek Nayar who has been our guy for the season and there was lunch in between. [We had] six overs before lunch and then atleast a spell each from me and Dhawal [Kulkarni] where they played and missed a couple of times [so there wasn’t delay]. One wicket at that stage just opens up the innings a little bit. You always need that one wicket with the new ball. It is unfortunate that we didn’t get it. But, then the spinner did the job for us, debutant Vishal Dabholkar did the job for us [gave the first breakthrough].
On debutant Vishal Dabholkar’s bowling
He was exceptional. Coming into the first game it is very special for a young guy [to perform like that]. I am very happy. Just to hold up one end and get a couple of crucial wickets [is great]. Everyone bowled well when they were give the ball.
On helping Dabholkar adjust while coming into a crucial game
He has been around the squad for the last couple of games so that sometimes helps [to get into the groove and adjust]. He had taken a crucial catch in Indore that would have definitely helped his nerves. He got to bat a couple of overs in the morning and couple of days batting so he had enough time to soak in everything. I am very impressed especially with the calmness he showed.
On whether they will bat if they wrap up the opposition early
We will see what happens. We have to get the five wickets first and then think about what to do. You can’t take things for granted, we have to get the five wickets first and then think about what to do.
On Yusuf Pathan’s wicket
We are happy to get him out. He is a dangerous player and can do damage.
On bowling short at the Baroda batters
There wasn’t much happening if you bowl length or up on the pitch. There wasn’t a lot of movement. It’s a third day pitch so you try and mix it up [variations]. We have guys who can bowl short balls so that kind of helps. So it was using a bit of variations and try and work on the batsman’s foot work.
On his batting
It is always nice to have some sort of form behind you. Any runs by the lower order is a good contribution. And that has been one of our strengths [contributions by tail-enders]. If we can chip in with runs lower down the order it helps the team post a decent total.
On Javed Khan’s quick fire innings with four sixes
He smashed it so I was happy to take the single and give him the strike. He had batted well in Indore as well. He played a crucial knock in the first innings. Everyone works on their batting and it is important. Today’s tail-enders all over India can hold a bat and bat well, which is good.