Aware that 41-time champions Mumbai did not do well in the Ranji Trophy last season, reappointed coach Vinayak Samant has decided to focus on the longer format and rectify the past mistakes.
In Samant’s first stint as the coach last season, Mumbai won the Vijay Hazare ODI tournament after several years, but failed to recreate the magic in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament and Ranji Trophy.
“I’m only focusing on what mistakes we did (last season) and we have to rectify them. We have to focus more on the Ranji Trophy, (and at the same time) on ODIs and T20s,” Samant told PTI on Wednesday.
“We did well in the ODI tournament and T20 tournament, but we were not able to do a good job in the Ranji Trophy (last season). So, my main focus (this time) is the Ranji Trophy,” he explained.
Samant, 46, was given a second straight term after former Mumbai wicket-keeper Sulakshan Kulkarni refused to sign the contract offered to him.
“We have to nurture talent for Mumbai and if the process is right, the outcome will be good,” Samant said.
Young prodigy Prithvi Shaw, who made his India debut last year, has been suspended for eight months by the BCCI for anti-doping violation.
After the suspension, Shaw would again be playing in the Samant-coached outfit if he is picked in the Mumbai squad for any of the tournaments.
Asked what advice he would give Shaw, Samant said, “I will keep it simple. You have to be very disciplined and if you are not disciplined, it will go haywire. I will tell him (Shaw) to be disciplined.”
“He is a good boy and he understands that. I am hoping that he will change his approach towards the game and do well for Mumbai as well as the country,” he further said.
“Mumbai has lot of talented players. In the past, we have won the Ranji Trophy (without star players) - there was no Sachin Tendulkar or Sanjay Manjrekar - but we did it. We want to make sure that we play positive and in crisis we have to be together,” added Samant.