Ranji Trophy Final – MP vs Mum

Forty-one time winners Mumbai are a dominant force in the Ranji Trophy. However, the past seasons have not brought them much joy. The last time they made it to the final was in 2016-17. Chandrakant Pandit was head coach at the time and Prithvi Shaw had just made his debut. This time, Shaw leads Mumbai in the final against Madhya Pradesh, coached by the man he calls Chandu sir.

During the pre-match press conference, Shaw said: “It is an honor to lead Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. Five years ago, when we reached the final, [Pandit] was our coach and now it will be a challenge to play against his team. I made my debut that season and now I want to take that trophy home.”

Before the showdown, Shaw got a chance to talk and think about it with his former coach. “It was good to see him again after a long time. He has done well with Madhya Pradesh and I want to congratulate him and his team. We only talked for a few minutes. I think we are both trying to get into the zone for the final.”

This season, many people have contributed to the success of Mumbai. With 803 runs at a stunning average of 133.83, Sarfaraz Khan is the season’s leading points scorer this season. Shams Mulani leads the wicket-taking charts. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Suved Parkar came into their own in the knockout stage. Young and inexperienced (at this level), they may feel pressured for the finals, but Shaw believes his boys are ready.

“I’m really proud of this team. The way they worked hard in the competition phase and before.” [is commendable]he said. “They should just go there and enjoy. My message to all the young guys is to see this as another U-19 or U-25 game and try to give it your 100%. The result doesn’t matter to me, the effort you put into it is important. They just have to keep doing what they’ve been doing all these years.”

While the team has had a successful season, Shaw’s individual performance has not reached the level he had hoped. In five matches he has scored 264 runs at an average of 33. He is aware of this and accepts that cricket has its ups and downs.

“I’ve scored a couple of fifties, but that’s definitely not enough for me,” he said. “Nobody congratulates me even after I scored 50, so I felt bad too (laughs). It happens sometimes, but I’m happy that my team is doing well.”

Shaw’s last test match was in Adelaide in 2020. In addition to winning the Ranji trophy, is he also thinking about a comeback with the test team?

“It doesn’t come close to me,” he said. “At the moment, winning the trophy is my main motivation. I don’t think about anything else. I don’t focus on what happens outside.”

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