Agarkar: Made full use of the home conditions

Sachin Tendulkar and Mumbai skipper Ajit Agarkar hold aloft the Ranji Trophy for 2012-13. Picture by Skandan Sampath, …

Mumbai:
After winning Mumbai's 40th Ranji Trophy title with two days to spare, skipper Ajit Agarkar was happy that his side made the most of the home conditions at the Wankhede Stadium.

"The conditions were in our favour. Dhawal Kulkarni pitched the ball in the right areas. There was a lot of moisture, and we bowled in all the right areas. We know these conditions well. It helps," said the victorious captain.

Mumbai humble Saurashtra
Mumbai Diary - Day 3


When asked if he was surprised by Saurashtra's meek surrender, Agarkar said, "I was a little surprised. But when they were 3-4 wickets down, it was clear that it was our game. They don't have the batting depth that we have. Their first innings total of 148 made all the difference."

The 35-year old was all praise for Man-of-the-Match Wasim Jaffer who made 132 for Mumbai in the first innings, "Wasim was exceptional. He keeps doing it year after year. To play that innings on this pitch under pressure is something that makes us all happy."

When asked if Pujara and Jadeja's absence in Saurashtra's dressing room was a factor, Agarkar shot back, "How do you know? We could have had Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane's services as well. We can only play against the team that is here."

"It is the same as any other title. We haven't been in the final for a while. It hasn't been smooth sailing, and winning this Ranji Trophy title wasn't easy," he said before leaving to join the celebrations in the dressing room.

Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Shah was all praise for Mumbai, saying that his batsmen could do nothing to defy the local bowling. The losing finalists managed to score just 148 and 82.

"Dhawal Kulkarni bowled really well. Some of his deliveries were extraordinary. One has to give credit to them," he said.

The question about Pujara and Jadeja's absence is something Shah has been asked right from the start of the game, and he answered it again by saying, "Pujara is in good form. But there is no way I can guarantee that his presence would have won us the game. If he was around, then we would have had a mental advantage. It would have been nice if he had played."

While he rued some of the decisions that went against his side, he made it clear that Mumbai were the better team, "We must learn that on a seaming track, we must concentrate harder. We will work hard, and not make the same mistakes next year."

Sachin Tendulkar had these words of praise for his side, "The team has some real good players. There are a lot of youngsters. There were moments when the going got tough, but we made it. Agarkar did well by leading from the front. I take this opportunity to thank everyone."

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