Agarkar's return peps up Mumbai for Ranji tie against Rajasthan

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Mumbai, Jan 1 (UNI) Buoyed by the return of pace bowler Ajit Agarkar 36-time Champions Mumbai, will be looking to continue their revival this season when they take on bottom-placed Rajasthan in their Ranji Trophy Elite Division Group 'B' match to be held at the Wankhede Stadium here from January 2.

Mumbai, who have had their worst start to the season by not being able to notch any points in the first three matches, are like peaking at the right time with a innings victory over Gujarat. They would be looking at continuing this form against take on Rajasthan as well.

The return of Agarkar from injury would also boost their bowling attack which at the moment is dependent on two spinners -- Ramesh Powar and Nilesh Kulkarni. Agarkar's return would allow captain Amol Muzumdar the variety in the bowling department as well as help the team's batting as Agarkar is no mug with the bat.

It is the batting which Mumbai needs to improve even though they notched up 500 in the match against Gujarat. The openers so far have failed to fire and the captain's form has been the only saving grace. The return to form of youngster Rohit Sharma must be heartening for the Mumbai fans, but they need to do more to make it to the semifinal stage.

On the other hand, Rajasthan would be depending on their old warhorse and captain Ajay Jadeja to fire on all cylinders and put it across the hosts in their own den.

Rajasthan would also be looking at their English import Vikram Solanki to come good with the bat and be able to put up a good first innings score to put the Mumbai batting under some sort of pressure.

The loss of the other English import, fast bowler Kabir Ali, due to a rib injury, has been a big blow for the Rajasthan bowling and the attack does not look threatening enough for the Mumbai batsmen specially in the home conditions.

The teams: Mumbai (from): Amol Muzumdar (c), Ajit Agarkar, Sahil Kukreja, Vinayak Mane, Rohit Sharma, Bhavin Thakkar, Wilkin Mota, Vinayak Samant, Abhishek Nair, Ramesh Powar, Nilesh Kulkarni, Swapnil Hazare, S Marathe, M Mungela, H Shah.

Rajasthan (from): Ajay Jadeja (c), V Solanki, Afroz Khan, M Aslam, R Bishnoi, N Doru, N Gehlot, S Gehlot, R Kanwat, Gagan Khoda, Pankaj Singh, V Saxena, Siddharth Joshi, D Yagnik.


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