Bengal aim to break final jinx against heavyweights Mumbai
New Delhi: Mumbai will start as overwhelming favourites against Sourav Ganguly-led Bengal side, which will aim to break their final jinx on the fourth attempt in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final to be held here from Monday.
Mumbai, meanwhile, would certainly like to make amends for their disappointing semi-final loss against Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy by winning the national one-day championship.
Bengal, having lost three successive one-day finals against Saurashtra (2008) and Tamil Nadu (2009, 2010), will try to win their second senior national level title in two years having won Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 championship last year.
Call it coincidence, but current Bengal coach W V Raman was in charge of Tamil Nadu during the two successive finals that Bengal lost in Agartala and Ahmedabad, respectively.
Can he prove to be a lucky charm for Bengal? Raman answered in jest, "At least, you can`t accuse me if things go wrong."
On a serious note, Raman said, "Bengal have proved over the years that they are a better one day side and definitely we will put our best foot forward."
Wriddhiman Saha, who has been in the form of his life having scored six consecutive half centuries, said: "Our planning wasn`t right in the earlier finals. We made mistakes at crucial junctures but this time round, we wouldn`t like to repeat those mistakes."
On paper, Mumbai are a far superior side with domestic legend Wasim Jaffer in fine form and Ajinkya Rahane also itching to get his place back in the national side.
Abhishek Nayar on a given day can murder any opposition and that was evident when Delhi bowlers bore the brunt in the semi-final.
On a Kotla track where other teams found it difficult to get past 200 batting first, Mumbai scored 295, which showed that as a domestic side they are class apart from the rest of the pack.
The bowling department also bears a settled look with skipper Ajit Agarkar too good a bowler at this level.
Dhawal Kulkarni, Kshemal Waingankar have complemented their skipper well, while KKR left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla can also prove to be a difficult customer.
Bengal`s top-order haven`t done well in the two knock-out matches and there has been immense pressure on Wriddhiman to perform. There is a high chance that `law of averages` might just catch up with the Bengal stumper.
There might be one change in the Bengal line-up with veteran Subhamoy Das coming in place of Jayojit Basu.
Skipper Ganguly whose highest score so far has been 24, will also like to score a few runs as this will be his last competitive match before the IPL.