When a team wins a game through collective effort, the skipper of the team and its think tank have every reason to smile, just like it is in the case of Mumbai, where Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare and coach Chandrakant Pandit can feel pleased after the side won its last Ranji Trophy encounter against Punjab riding on several individual performances.
In the first innings, medium-pacers Shardul Thakur and Balwinder Singh Sandhu returned with four-wicket hauls to restrict Punjab to a meagre 154. Then, Shreyas Iyer and Tare scored big hundreds to ensure Mumbai didn't have to bat again. Later, part-time spinner (he doesn't like to be called that!) Akhil Herwadkar picked up a career-best haul to give Mumbai an outright win. It wasn't a surprise then, that Tare harped on the fact that a win was that much special when most of the members of the team performed in it. "You need seven or eight guys out of 11 to perform and help the team win. So, I'm very happy that they have chipped in with their efforts. Winning is important to make the dressing room happy and we're upbeat about it," Tare said on the eve of Mumbai's match against Tamil Nadu. But the skipper strictly maintained that playing a new match brings a new challenge. And the game against Tamil Nadu would be no different. "For me, every game is important and every opponent is good. We want to concentrate on our own game and how well we play. That's the ultimate thing for me," he said. Asked if there were any concerns despite the outright win over a formidable Punjab team, he said: "It is too early to judge a team. For me, how our boys play and how they can perform consistently is important. How they better themselves is what concerns me. It's a long season and you can't judge a team on one or two matches. We still have big challenges ahead, and the boys are working hard to meet them." Tare, whomarshalledhis resources extremely well against Punjab, and is now up against a side which has quality players, felt that no team in the Ranji Trophycould be taken lightly. "I don't rate any team big or small in this tournament. One cannot take any game lightly. My boys thrive on big oppositions and big challenges. The younger guys love taking on opponents," he said, while elaborating on taking on reputed sides early on in the season. On his part, Tamil Nadu skipper Abhinav Mukund said: "We have had a good start to the season. We had some good contributions in the team. We have had two good wins, a good lead against MP and a good win against Baroda. So, we have momentum." Speaking about Murali Vijay, who is back in the team after a two-month hiatus, Mukund said: "He always looks to contribute as much as he can while playing for TN. I think he is a big plus for us. I enjoy batting with him and his experience will definitely come handy for us."