Mumbai looking for better performance under new captain

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Mumbai, Nov 2 (UNI) The Indian domestic cricket powerhouse, Mumbai, will be looking at its new captain Wasim Jaffer along with a host of exciting new talent to make amends for its failure last season as it gears up to take on Rajasthan in its inaugural Ranji Trophy Elite Division group 'A' match of the 2008-09 season at the Brabourne stadium here beginning tomorrow.

This season also marks the return of Sairaj Bahutule, who was the captain when Mumbai won the title in 2003-04 and this augurs well as his all-round and leadership skills will prove to be an inspiration to the youngsters. Bahutule, who decided to head back home after three seasons with Maharashtra, replaced Nilesh Kulkarni, the left-arm spinner, who was brought in at the fag end of the season last year but wasn't effective.

The key thing for Mumbai is that the nucleus of Jaffer, Amol Muzumdar, Bahutule, Ajit Agarkar and Ramesh Powar rise to the occasion and bond well with the youth brigade led by Rohit Sharma, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni and Sahil Kukreja. On paper, it's a rich blend of youth and experience and it's just a matter of putting it all together as a team.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan would be looking to make amends for the last match when they lost to Mumbai in a dramatic last-ball finish.

The visitors would be looking at Pankaj Singh, the tall pace bowler who went to Australia last season with the Indian Test team to strike early to put Mumbai under early pressure.

Rajasthan are a side in transition with an average age of 25, and a new signing in former India batsman Venugopal Rao.

With the likes of Robin Bist and Manish Sharma, in their early 20s, Nikhil Doru and Rohit Jhalani, closer to 30, and veteran Gagan Khoda, at 34, Rajasthan is a mixed bag.


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