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We will give tough fight to Mumbai: Shah

January 03, 2009 17:55 IST

With the return of Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, Mumbai is undoubtedly the superior side on paper, but Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Shah said he and his young teammates are determined to give the former champions a run for their money in the four-day Ranji Trophy semi-final match commencing in Chennai on Sunday.

Tendulkar and Zaheer's inclusion in the squad have tilted the balance totally in favour of Mumbai, but Saurashtra skipper Shah vowed that his team would give their heart and soul out in the field to ensure the all-important victory.

Tendulkar and Zaheer made themselves available after Mumbai's title triumph in 2006-07 Ranji Trophy over Bengal.

"We all know that Mumbai is a top side. We will definitely put up a good fight and try to avoid mistakes. We have a young side with quite a few talented players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja, but in the end, it is the team effort that matters," Shah told a press gathering after the team's practice session in Chennai on Saturday.

"Obviously, their (Tendulkar and Zaheer's) presence makes Mumbai a stronger team. But we will concentrate hard and play our game rather than worry too much about our opponents. We will have to give our 200 per cent," he added.

The Saurashtra skipper also opined that the little grass visible on the surface could assist the seamers initially, but said he expects the spinners to come into action in the second half of the match.

"A first day pitch anywhere will obviously help the fast bowlers early on, but I think, it might offer some turn from the third day."

Meanwhile, Mumbai captain Wasim Jaffer admitted that Tendulkar and Zaheer's inclusion will further strengthened the side which is in its quest for 38th Ranji title.

"We also have other experienced players and most of us had played in the previous final (2006-07). And so, in a match like this, experience will be a critical factor," he said.

He also termed Mumbai's poor showing earlier in the season against the same opponents, where they had to play out of their skin to save themselves from humiliation after following on, as a 'one off' match.

"Saurashtra have played seven of their matches at home. This is a chance for us to forget the earlier game and show that it was just a one-off match," Jaffer said.

On Saurashtra batting mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara's sterling performance with the bat this season, Jaffer said, "We all know that Pujara is in good form and scoring a lot of runs and so his wicket will be vital for us. But then, we also need to take the top six wickets."

Mumbai coach Pravin Amre referred Tendulkar and Zaheer's availability as a dream for any coach.

"It is a dream for any coach to have somebody like Tendulkar in the team. His presence is vital for us and also that of Zaheer, he said.

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