Ahead of his team’s Ranji Trophy final against Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai head coach Amol Muzumdar has said that the occasion is all about the players. Mumbai, who are 41-time champions have reached their 47th Ranji Trophy final overall and their first since 2016-17. Their semi-final tie against Uttar Pradesh was a draw, with Mumbai advancing on basis of their first-innings lead. Muzumdar is clear that it is not about him. He has already won the competition as a captain and has been part of many title-winning teams. His counterpart and Madhya Pradesh head coach Chandrakant Pandit has won titles with Mumbai and Vidharbha in the past.

“It is all about the players. Of course, every team has its own engine room, but at the same time, the main focus has to be the players. He [Pandit] is a proven customer. This is my first season [as coach]; his must be the umpteenth season. I would not like to compare. He has been there, done that,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Muzumdar as saying.

The head coach feels that his side has done extremely well in the red-ball cricket and is certain that the newer talent will serve Mumbai for a long time.

“When I took up this job, all the entire association asked about was getting back in red-ball cricket. That was our main focus. Coming so far, we have slightly tried to achieve that. Credit to the boys, they are on track. Red-ball cricket was a concern for everyone from Mumbai,” he said.

“But the guys have done splendidly well. The focus was on how to get gen-next hooked on to deliver in Ranji Trophy. With this kind of performance, we are pushing towards it. I am certain these guys would serve Mumbai for a long time,” he added.

Yashasvi Jaiswal has hit three hundreds and has featured in only three first-class games. The young batter Prithvi Shaw leads the pack even though his temperament for long-term cricket and technical adjustments are focus areas.

Suved Parkar comes into the final with a reputation of being a marathon batter just like his head coach Muzumdar. Armaan Jaffer has also shown promise, scoring maiden century in semis. Sarfaraz Khan‘s form leads this shortened season’s batting-charts with 803 runs in seven innings, including three hundreds. He is 297 runs ahead of Rajat Patidar, his nearest competitor in the final. This massive hunger for big runs in the dressing room augurs well for the future.

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Muzumdar considers the culture and “processes” for helping bring about a change in mindset that first-class cricket is just as important as the IPL.

“I personally believe it is about the process and culture you have in the dressing room and automatically players will buy into that. We have tried to do that, almost all of the [players] have bought into the future. Yes, IPL is a culture where people go in and play but they should not forget their roots, which is domestic cricket,” he said.

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