Life comes a full circle for Tare

Aditya Tare had won his maiden Ranji Trophy title in his first full season in 2012-13 against Saurashtra.

Life came full circle for the wicketkeeper-batsman when he lifted the coveted trophy for the second time against the same opponents here on Friday.

“I’d like to thank every Mumbaikar, fans, ex-cricketers and well-wishers for backing us throughout the season,” noted the Mumbai skipper.  “The support staff, selectors and the team management were all on the same page. This is a dream we charted out together when we assembled in Chennai for the Buchi Babu tournament. Abhishek Nayar told us whenever we have won Buchi Babu, we haven’t won the Ranji Trophy, so that is a jinx we have broken this year,” he remarked.

Tare admitted Siddhesh Lad’s blitzkrieg (88) in the morning proved crucial. “Siddhesh’s knock gave us the breathing space,” he pointed out. “Had it been a small lead, the game could have turned either way. That small contribution from Ballu (Balwinder Sandhu) and that spell from Shardul (Thakur) were match-winning. The two runs that Ballu scored against Tamil Nadu (in a one-wicket win) was crucial for us, that turned around the season for us. Each time we had a bad day or a bad session, we bounced back as a team.”

Saurashtra coach Sitanshu Kotak rued dropped catches and felt this was their worst game of the season. “I think the bowling in the quarterfinal and in the semifinal was a lot better. Here it was not up to the mark and dropped catches (cost us dear) — we dropped four catches. In 10 games, I can’t remember four catches being dropped. We dropped a couple altogether.

But I am proud of Saurashtrra because after going to Group C last season, the way the boys have played, this probably is the worst game that we have played in 11 games and I would take it because it can happen. But I think we can keep coming stronger again and again and one day we will win it,” he analysed.

Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit put it on to team work. “They had faith in each other,” he stressed. “When they entered the field, they knew what had to be done. It was the same age group, with same experience and they wanted to stay together as a family. They've taken initiatives in every game, and it's not that only (Shreyas) Iyer, or Dhawal (Kulkarni) or (Abhishek) Nayar took initiatives. They've all shown character and that could be seen on the field,” he explained.

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