Shahbaz confidents Jharkhand can give Mumbai good fight

Mumbai: His team might be languishing at the bottom of the points table, but Jharkhand captain Shahbaz Nadeem is highly hopeful of his plyers giving a good fight to hosts and defending champions Mumbai in their Group A Ranji Trophy match commencing here on Friday.

"We are playing them for the first time in Ranji Trophy. We are all excited to play the Mumbai team as they were the champions last year and have been for so many times. We came here to give them a good fight and hopefully we will," he told reporters here ahead of the encounter.

The left-arm spinner admitted that they are virtually out of the competition, after bagging only three points from five games and said every match is important for them.

"Realistically, you can say we are out of this (the tournament). I think for us, every match is big now because we have not been playing well for the last five matches. Every match is crucial for us," he said.

The 24-year-old felt the team`s batsmen have let the team down in the competition.

"I think we are also a very good side. On paper if you see we are a good side but we are not delivering it. Our batting is not doing much justice for our bowlers. If we can score 350 or 400, our bowling is strong enough to defend that," he said.

Jharkhand and Mumbai faced each other in a one-day game three years back, where Nadeem was man of the match.

"We played against them three years back. We won that match. One-day format is different from this. It is not that we cannot win against them in this format because we have some quality players in our team. Varun (Aaron), Saurabh (Tiwary), (Ishank) Jaggi are there.

"From our team five players were playing Duleep Trophy last season. It is just that we are not delivering it. If the batting and bowling click together, it will be a good fight," he said.

Nadeem assessed the Wankhede Stadium track as flat.

"It looks like a pretty flat wicket. Doesn`t have so much grass on it. I think it is a batting wicket," he said.