Mumbai: It's been one hell of a season for Mumbai. On Monday (January 28) they wrapped up the Ranji final against Saurashtra in less than three days, and had already won national titles at the Under-16 and Under-25, level, and were in the final of the Under-19 competition. Naturally the Ranji Trophy title, the 40th for Mumbai, which booked them a February 6 date against Rest of India for the Irani Cup was the cream of it all.
Sachin Tendulkar may be nearing 40, but his enthusiasm at winning was far from muted. "Mumbai has again showed that it is a champion side. We have a good team ... a nice blend of youngsters and senior players," said Tendulkar. "There were moments when the going was tough, but that's was when the team stuck together and performed brilliantly. I feel very happy, especially for Ajit Agarkar who had a rough season last year. It was really difficult for him. But this season he led from the front and led beautifully. He performed when it mattered. The team supported him right through."
Agarkar, who maintained his winning record in Ranji finals, making it seven out seven, could barely catch his breath soon after the game was won. "My first thoughts are that I'm very happy and very, very proud obviously. I've won it before, but to win as captain makes it even more special," said Agarkar, who picked up four for 15 to partner Dhaval Kulkarni in Saurashtra's demolition. "It's very, very special. Having not been in the final for a couple of years all the guys were very keen to do well. Winning the Ranji Trophy is not easy and as the years have gone by it's become tougher because other teams have improved so much."