Mumbai: Aiming for an outright victory to make it to the quarters, Mumbai will take on bottom-placed Tripura in their last Group C Ranji Trophy league game beginning here on Saturday.
For 41-time champions Mumbai it's a must-win game and it's fortunate that they face minnows Tripura. However, the hosts cannot be complacent and need to go all out with guns blazing when they take the field in the four-day match at the Wankhede Stadium.
Mumbai are in the third spot with 14 points, having won a lone match and drawn four others. Andhra Pradesh have completed their league campaign and are on the top of the table with 19 points while Madhya Pradesh are at number 2 with 15 points from five matches.
This season has been pretty tough for the Mumbai side coached by former India stumper Sameer Dighe. They have been able to defeat only Odisha in Bhubaneswar outright while drawing the rest.
Their in-form player, 18-year-old Prithvi Shaw who has scored three hundreds this season in the championship is a key player on his current form. But he needs support from the other top order batsmen who had not been as consistent. He along with opener Jay Bista will need to provide a descent start.
In the lower middle order, Siddesh Lad, who has a hundred and two fifties this season to his credit, has been Mumbai's crisis man but skipper Aditya Tare has not been among the runs and needs to fire big in this game.
Mumbai bowlers also need to step up big in home conditions.
Visitors Tripura are out of contention with just four points in hand but would be motivated to catch the eye in their maiden game against the oft-crowned champions. They have drawn four games this season and had lost only to Madhya Pradesh by 10 wickets.
An outright victory looks beyond their means but they could certainly frustrate the hosts from recording a win.