We’ll miss Pujara, Jadeja: Shah
As Saurashtra play in their first Ranji Trophy final in 75 years, skipper Jaydev Shah stressed the importance of a good first-innings total against a strong opponent like Mumbai.
“This is a big opportunity for us. It is a big game for us. Mumbai is a very experienced side. We’ll have to get a good start, and make our best effort in the first innings,” said Shah.
“The challenge is not to take the pressure. It is the first final of our careers. We must focus hard and do well. I think, against Mumbai we need to score big runs. If we put a little pressure at the start, then we have a chance.”
The pressure of the big match was accompanied by a sense of sadness for Shah as he spoke about missing the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja in such crucial game.
“It is Pujara's birthday today. He sent us his best wishes for the final. It is a very huge void to fill. They were really doing well. We can't help it if they are away on national duty. If they were in the side, we would have got a lot of mental satisfaction. The opponents too would have felt the pressure. It is fine. We have to fight without them,” Shah said.
Saurashtra’s has been an inspirational story as they have surprised one and all by overtaking the best teams in the tournament to make the final. The captain credits the rise to teamwork.
“It is totally a team effort. Everyone has played as a team. We have a good combination of experience and youth.”
While Shah said that he looked forward to playing the final at the Wankhede Stadium, he also rued not having home field advantage. “Nice playing at the Wankhede. If we had the home advantage, then it would have been good.”
Shah claimed that the team was confident ahead of the biggest match of their careers. “The team is not nervous. They are cool. We will play normal cricket. Hope to do our best, and will go for it. The youngsters are coming up. They'll understand the pressure.”
What if Saurashtra end up winning the title? “It will be the biggest celebration, if we win the final. Touch wood. I don't want to say anything,” said the captain.