Ranji Trophy: Hardik Tamore delivering behind and in front of the wickets

Just before leaving the Mumbai squad after fracturing his finger during the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal, Aditya Tare, Mumbai’s last Ranji Trophy-winning captain, had expressed confidence in Hardik Tamore to deliver the goods behind and in front of the wickets.

Tamore, having played four First Class games in the previous Ranji Trophy season in 2019-20 and waiting in the wings right through the season, was not a stranger to the set-up. In his first game as the designated wicketkeeper-cum-No. 6 batter, Tamore gave a glimpse of his excellent technique and impressive game awareness.

Tamore’s patient 115 gaped Mumbai out of the hole on the second day of the Ranji Trophy semifinal on Wednesday.

READ | Kulkarni, Deshpande dent UP after Tamore, Mulani stand takes Mumbai to 393 in first innings

“He called me over for a chat before checking out and told me I just had to keep doing what I have been doing all along,” he said.

“Amol sir (Muzumdar, the head coach) told me the same before the match. Delighted with the effort.”

Besides his exquisite drives and wicket-keeping skills, Tamore and Tare also have the leadership skills in common. Having led Mumbai in all the age-group categories, Tamore has a sound head on his shoulders. In fact, it was under his captaincy that Mumbai lifted the Col. C.K. Nayudu (U-25) Trophy  in April.

READ | Ranji Trophy: Mumbai coach Muzumdar believes inexperienced line-up won’t hurt his side

His maturity was evident with the manner in which he developed his innings. Coming in to bat at 170 for four on day one, Tamore took his time to get his eye in. Then, after losing centurion Yashasvi Jaiswal, he saw off the second new ball without much fuss on Tuesday.

On the second day, with overcast conditions, the boy from a village close to Boisar – almost 150 kms from the maidans of south Mumbai – waited for the loose deliveries, leaving the ball well otherwise.

“Having led the team in junior cricket, I am aware of the game situation, so I knew I had to bat deep and contribute to the team’s cause,” he said.

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