Cricket

Suryakumar back as Mumbai captain

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Will be boosted by the presence of Rahane for the earlier matches

Suryakumar Yadav is back in the saddle as captain of Mumbai as the domestic giant hopes to revive its Ranji Trophy fortune in the season-opener against Baroda in Vadodara from December 9.

Suryakumar’s last stint as Ranji captain was forgettable as infighting coupled with poor team performances resulted in him being replaced mid-way through the 2014-15 season. Since then, Suryakumar has emerged as a mature cricketer and his leadership abilities were applauded during Mumbai’s white-ball tournaments this season.

Impressed with his leadership abilities and the versatile batsman leading from the front with the bat, the selection committee — headed by Milind Rege — during its meeting on Monday decided to stick with Suryakumar for the Ranji season.

Starting well

Suryakumar, who was unceremoniously dropped last season, will be keen on starting this season well after an inferior outing so far for Mumbai. The 41-time champion side was never in contention for regaining the Ranji crown, finishing the league stage with a tally of 17 points from eight games.

Suryakumar would be delighted to have a senior pro like Ajinkya Rahane in the ranks at the start of the season. With the Men in Blue busy with white-ball cricket for the next two months, Rahane could be available for Mumbai’s first four matches.

His presence will not only help Suryakumar and coach Vinayak Samant to keep the flock together but also keep Rahane ready for the sterner test lying ahead in New Zealand. Interestingly, Rahane’s last outing in whites for Mumbai was against Baroda, at Wankhede Stadium in November 2017.

Besides Rahane and Suryakumar, all eyes will be on Prithvi Shaw, with the youngster hoping to continue to impress the national selectors on his comeback trail. The promising youngster has faced multiple setbacks in the last year — from an ill-timed injury in Australia last November to a doping offence that resulted in his suspension. But the diminutive opener had an impressive campaign in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy’s Super League, despite Mumbai failing to make the semifinals.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 3:27:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/suryakumar-back-as-mumbai-captain/article30140906.ece

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