‘I am the lowest…’: Ajinkya Rahane after guiding Mumbai to Ranji Trophy title win | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: Despite enduring a challenging period with the bat, Ajinkya Rahane found immense joy as he led Mumbai to their 42nd Ranji Trophy title at the Wankhede on Thursday. Mumbai secured victory over Vidarbha by 169 runs to clinch the prestigious trophy.
Rahane had struggled throughout the Ranji season, accumulating only 214 runs and ranking ninth among Mumbai’s run-scorers.
However, his pivotal knock of 73 in the final’s second innings, coupled with a crucial 130-run partnership alongside the emerging centurion Musheer Khan, proved decisive in setting an insurmountable target for Vidarbha.”Even though I am the lowest scorer for my team, I am the happiest to lift the trophy. As a player, you will have ups and downs. It’s about creating atmosphere in dressing room and enjoy each other’s success. This is a special moment,” Rahane said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Last year, we failed to qualify for the knock-outs by one run. We had to create the right culture and attitude in the team. We created a fitness culture and I would thank MCA for providing all the support,” Rahane added.
Rahane was all praise for Vidarbha’s fighting effort on the fourth and fifth day of the final.
“I want to appreciate Vidarbha’s fight. Chasing 538, giving up is easy but they played really well.”
Player of the Match Musheer Khan and Player of the Tournament Tanush Kotian were thankful to their skipper for his guidance.
“I enjoyed batting with him,” said Musheer, adding, “During our partnership, he would very nicely explain what he wanted from me.”
Kotian thanked Rahane for helping him unlock his true batting potential which saw him score over 500 runs.
“Last year I got a bit more confidence in my batting and I worked hard with my father. Ajju dada (that’s how youngsters in Mumbai team address him) also helped me a lot,” Kotian said, underlining Rahane’s contribution in creating a healthy dressing room atmosphere.
For the retiring Dhawal Kulkarni, Rahane said that any amount of praise would be less considering his contribution to Mumbai cricket. Dhawal has played six finals for Mumbai and won five Ranji Trophy titles.
“We have played for Mumbai since our U-14 days. We toured for India U-19 (New Zealand). Whatever I say in his praise would be less. His contribution is laudable. Off- field experience sharing and not also with those not in team.”
(With inputs from PTI)


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