Sachin and Zaheer’s presence will boost Mumbai side: JafferJanuary 3rd, 2009 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Jan 3 (IANS) Mumbai captain Wasim Jaffer feels the presence of Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan will give his side an edge over Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy semi-final that begins here Sunday.”It will make a huge difference. We also have other experienced players and most of us had played in the previous final (2006-07). And so, in a match like this, experience will be a crucial factor,” said Jaffer.
Coach Pravin Amre, while welcoming Tendulkar and Zaheer back in the team, said: “It is a dream for any coach to have somebody like Tendulkar in the team. His presence is vital for us and also that of Zaheer.”
However, a confident Saurashtra who registered a stirring win against Karnataka in the quarter-final, is not unduly worried.
“Obviously, their (Sachin and Zaheer) presence make Mumbai a stronger team. But we will concentrate hard and play our game rather than worry too much about our opponents. We will have to give our 200 percent,” said Saurashtra captain Jayadev Shah.
“We all know that Mumbai is a top side. We will definitely put up a fight. We have a young side with quite a few talented players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja, but in the end, it is the team effort that matters,” he said.
About the pitch, the Saurashtra skipper said: “A first day pitch anywhere will help the fast bowlers early on, but I think, it might offer some turn from the third day.”
Reflecting on his opponents, and especially the league match in which Mumbai were forced to follow on after Saurashtra made 600-plus, Jaffer said the semi-final game was an opportunity to show that the Rajkot match was just a “one off”.
“Saurashtra have played seven of their matches at home. This is a chance for us to forget the earlier game and show that it was just a one-off match,” Jaffer said.
When asked about Chetehswar Pujara, who has been making waves with big scores for Saurashtra, Jaffer said: “Pujara is in good form and scoring a lot of runs and so, his wicket will be vital for us. But then, we also need to take the top six wickets.”