Mumbai: It will be tough for Saurashtra, playing their first Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai, who are looking to win the national championship for the 40th time.
Yet, Saurashtra are capable of giving Mumbai a good run for their money, going by their performance right through the season. But they will be without their two in-form stalwarts Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja, both on national duty playing in the One-Day series against England.
Without Pujara and Jadeja, they managed to beat Punjab by a handsome margin in the semifinals and they hope to fight out the final, too.
Mumbai on the other hand entered their 44th Ranji Trophy final overcoming inclement weather in the semi-final against Services at the Palam ground, Delhi.
In an extended session of an extra sixth day, they dismissed Services for 240 and progressed into the final on first-innings lead.
Mumbai will start as the favourites with the likes of the great Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Jaffer, Ajit Agarkar and Abhishek Nayar in their midst.
Though the hosts too will miss key players - Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, who are also on international duty.
Vishal Joshi, Jaydev Unadkat and Siddharth Trivedi will hold the key in restricting the plethora of batting talent that Mumbai have.
The opening partnership between Shitanshu Kotak and Sagar Jogiyani has been a revelation for the visitors this season and the onus will be once again on the two to give their team a flying start.
First Published: Friday, January 25, 2013, 21:06