It was just a year back that team India played its historic 500th Test match against the Kiwis in Kanpur, and there was a repeat of a similar fate when the 41 time Ranji Trophy Champions Mumbai play their 500th first-class game against a young Baroda side at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Indian cricket and Mumbai cricket go hand in hand, and this statement can’t be denied even today. The dominance of Mumbai in the domestic circuit has been such that they still hold the respect of being undoubtedly the greatest ever domestic team in Indian cricketing circles. The number of international cricketers Mumbai has produced is simply astounding, and the oppositions have always looked at them in awe and tried to match the cricketing skills of the Mumbaikars.
They have entered 46 Ranji Trophy finals and have gone on to win 41 titles, so it gives a clear indication that Mumbai played knockout cricket on a consistent basis and hence ended up playing more matches in the season than other teams. Meanwhile, Team India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is all set to become the only member to have played India’s 500th Test match and will also be appearing for Mumbai in their 500th first-class match ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka starting in less than a week’s time.
Rohit Sharma will miss out as he has just completed national duties after the T20I series against the Kiwis. Shreyas Iyer who was part of the Indian T20 squad will also be part of the Mumbai squad which will be led by wicket-keeper batsman Aditya Tare.
The preparations ahead of Mumbai’s 500th first-class match was nothing special. The players had a net session which was followed by a team meeting in the Mumbai Cricket Association Conference Hall before they returned to their respective places. Rahane drove his car to leave his residence.
Ahead of the match, Tare said:
“It is a special game for us. It is a great feeling to be playing the 500th Ranji Trophy game for a terrific side. It is going to be a great game for us. We feel we are quite fortunate to be the squad that will be playing the 500th game. There has been a huge contribution right from the inception of Mumbai cricket. Fortunately, it is us who are playing the milestone game. Congratulations to everyone who has been part of the Mumbai team.”