Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh would be squaring off in the final of the Ranji Trophy, beginning Wednesday in Bengaluru. Madhya Pradesh are in the final for the first time, while Mumbai are the domestic powerhouse, having won the competition on 41 occasions. Mumbai captain Prithvi Shaw would be playing against Chandrakant Pandit’s Madhya Pradesh, and it is important to mention that Pandit was Shaw’s first domestic cricket coach.
“I think it is very proud to be captain of Mumbai. Five years back, playing in the finals, Chandu sir was the coach, and playing against him, it is going to be really challenging for us, whoever is playing. Really proud to be captaining Mumbai. Looking back at five years, my first stint in 2016-17 and after that captaining Mumbai in Vijay Hazare and now leading in Ranji Trophy, it is a proud feeling for me. I hope to take this Cup back home,” said Shaw during a press conference in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
“It’s nowhere near my mind you know – comeback to the Indian team. Getting the Cup is my main motive and not thinking anything other than winning this one. The finals are from tomorrow, so I am not thinking about anything else. The preparation we have done is just for Ranji Trophy, not focusing on what is going on outside. This is really important as well, winning this Ranji Trophy and getting those happy moments back,” he added.
Shaw had registered fifties in the quarterfinal against Uttarakhand and the semi-final against Uttar Pradesh.
Talking about his own performance, Shaw said: “I scored a couple of fifties, but that isn’t enough for me for sure. No one even congratulated me after scoring those fifties. So, in that sense, I feel bad as well. But I’m glad my team is doing well. As a captain, you have to take that as well – all the 21 players I’ve got here.”
“It isn’t just about me. In cricket as well as in life, the graph always goes up and down. It is never always going to go up. It’s just a matter of time before I middle the ball again and get those big runs. Right now, I’m just really thinking about my team, make sure they’re taking care of themselves,” he added.
Talking about the final against Madhya Pradesh, Shaw said: “This is going to be a pressure game for everyone, it’s a young side. Not many of them have played these kinds of finals and are not that experienced. But I think they’re ready for this. Looking at the batters we’ve got, we’ve got a good, talented and skillful side. Hopefully, what they’re achieving right now, they can carry on for one more game.”