Mumbai no longer give imposing feeling: Shashikanth

Mumbai no longer give imposing feeling: Shashikanth

Mumbai's scratchy progress to the quarterfinals has been one of the talking points of this season. The domestic giants, having narrowly avoided a group-stage exit, face a stiff test when they face AN in-form Karnataka in the quarterfinals.

Ahead of the much-awaited tie, Karnataka coach Shashikanth felt the 41-time champions lack the fear-factor they instilled in the 1980s.

"The way they have played this season it doesn't give an imposing feeling," said Shashikanth. "Earlier, their approach was that if a team scores 600 they would be ready to score 601 runs. But I don't think this side has that kind of an attitude. Maybe a Rohit Sharma or an Ajinkya Rahane would have made a difference. If you look at the Mumbai team of the 80s and now, there are lot of differences. When they start attacking and if they see that nothing is happening then they tend to become defensive. That tests the batsmen and that's where we need to be careful about," remarked the former Karnataka batsman.

Shashikanth, however, was mindful of the aura that Mumbai carry. "We will not give them an inch because then they will bounce back to take control of the game. They are known for that. There are some players in their side who have done well and there are many young talents. You cannot underestimate them," he said.

Karnataka have ticked all the boxes and appear a balanced unit. C M Gautam though is due for a big knock. The dominant show by Karnataka's top order has left Gautam with very little to do but whenever he has had his chances, the senior batsman has failed to convert his starts.

"He is a very experienced player and has 90 odd first-class games under his belt. He has been batting well and it is just that he has not been able to stay long in the middle. We have spoken to him and I know he will come good. He is keeping well and that should rub on his batting as well," he felt.

While K Gowtham has been brilliant, he has found great support in Shreyas Gopal, who seems to have regained his touch after two quiet seasons. The leg-spinning all-rounder has 21 wickets from five games.

"It's all about the approach," Shashikanth stressed. "We were very vocal about it. Myself, CM (Gautam) and even Stuart (Binny), we all gave him a lot of support and worked on his mindset. Earlier he would bowl with a deep point. You can't help it because the fast bowlers were dominating and he would come to bowl to the lower order. Now we have asked him to be more attacking with silly point and short leg. Raghuram Bhatt sir would also work with the spinners. Shreyas is a different bowler now and his body language has changed," he offered.

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