Forced to ring in changes to their squad owing to injuries and poor form, Mumbai will hope to get the act right when they take on Hyderabad in their Ranji Trophy quarter-final starting here on Friday.
The team with by far the best record in first-class cricket, Mumbai has rarely fielded a team as inexperienced as the ones that trained at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium on Thursday. While Eknath Kerkar remains the only member of the squad yet to earn a Ranji cap, seven others Praful Waghela, Kevin Almeida, Vijay Gohil, Akshay Girap, Royston Dias, Sufiyan Shaikh and Tushar Deshpande have a combined tally of 23 matches.
Against a rejuvenated Hyderabad, the reigning champions will be without the services of opener Akhil Herwadkar, lower order batsman Shubham Ranjane and pace bowler Dhawal Kulkarni — all of who are out due to injuries.
The Mumbai selectors have brought in Almeida, who scored a triple hundred in a local tournament, and another in-form batsman Eknath Kerkar into the 15-strong squad while recalling off-spinner Akshay Girap.
If their exceptional records are anything to go by, Mumbai can never be taken for granted, and rival skipper S Badrinath knows it too well.
But still, the Hyderabad skipper will fancy his chances when his side takes on the 41-time Ranji champions, putting aside past records.
To look out for from the Hyderabad team would be M Ravi Kiran, their highest wicket-taker, and he would look to fire again when he comes up against the formidable Mumbai batting line-up.