Rohit Sharma has reportedly given a pep talk to the Mumbai side as the 41-time Ranji champions languish in 13th spot. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The Mumbai cricket team have set several benchmarks for dominance when it comes to the Ranji Trophy. They have won the title a record 41 times, including 15 consecutive from the 1958/59 to 1972/73. They have won the title after appearing in 46 finals, meaning that they have rarely lost a final in the 86-year-old tournament. In 2007/08, they were knocked out of the league stages in the Ranji Trophy for the first time and after yet another group stage elimination in 2018/19, they have started the 2019/20 season disastrously. After starting the season off with a bang with a mammoth 309-run win against Baroda in Vadodara, Mumbai have suffered two huge defeats and that too at home. They were hammered by 10 wickets in their fortress of the Wankhede stadium while their poor run against current domestic giants Karnataka continued as they lost by five wickets in the Bandra Kurla Complex ground.
Mumbai's next game is a massive contest against Tamil Nadu at the M Chinnaswamy stadium and this will be a must-win game. Tamil Nadu are currently languishing in 16th place and a loss in the next game could end their chances of qualification. Mumbai are currently in the 13th position in the Elite Group A and B position with six points from three games while Punjab are on top of the table with 18 points from four games.
Only five teams can qualify for the knock-out stages from Elite Group A and B while two can qualify from Elite Group C and the topper of the Plate Division. Currently, Puducherry is on top of the Plate Division while Odisha and Haryana are in the top two of the Elite Group C table. Such is Mumbai's position that it has needed a pep talk from Rohit Sharma, the Indian cricket team opener.
A source in the Mumbai team, who was present on the occasion, said India's limited overs vice captain "spoke to the Mumbai Ranji team on how to overcome the current situation" at the suburban BKC facility. Rohit, who has been rested for the current T20 series against Sri Lanka, had watched the second day's play between Mumbai and Karnataka on Saturday for a brief while. Rohit comes to the BKC for training and had batted in the nets on Sunday. Mumbai coach Vinayak Samant, bowling coach Pradeep Sundaram and team manager Ajinkya Naik were also present on the occasion.
Mumbai, though, will be without the services of their skipper Suryakumar Yadav, who will be with the India A team for the tour of New Zealand while Prithvi Shaw, who injured his left shoulder in the clash against Karnataka, might also not play the next game as he too is heading to New Zealand for the 'A' series.