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Defending champions Mumbai are eyeing their record-stretching 42nd Ranji Trophy title when they face Gujarat in the summit clash at the Holkar Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Mumbai have won the premier domestic cricket competition 41 out of 45 appearances in the final. The last time they lost in the final was to Haryana in 1990-91. Mumbai are the overwhelming favourites for the trophy this time too as they have lost just twice in 61 matches against Gujarat, the last loss being in 1977-78.
Gujarat have reached their first final in over six decades. Their maiden appearance in the final was in 1950-51. They are yet to win the coveted tournament.
They will be hoping to pose a tough challenge to the title holders, having exhibited quality performances in all departments of the game throughout their campaign.
Drawing inspiration from their maiden Vijay Hazare trophy triumph last season, the Parthiv Patel-led side will be willing to produce a similar performance to shock Mumbai.
Their batting is spear-headed by openers Priyank Panchal and Samit Gohel, who have given them solid starts in the course of their impressive campaign.
The Panchal-Goel partnership has been complemented by middle order batsmen Manprit Juneja and Chirag Gandhi, both playing key roles in their semi-final win against Jharkhand. But their bowling line-up will be severely weakened by the absence by India pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who will be away on national duty in the limited-overs series against England.
The England series starts from January 15 in Pune.
Mumbai's 17-year-old opener Prithvi Shaw, who scored a gritty century on his debut in the semi-final against Tamil Nadu, will be in the limelight. He will be supported by Shreyas Iyer, who is Mumbai's highest run-getter this season, middle-order batsmen Suryakumar Yadav, Aditya Tare and Siddesh Lad.
Mumbai: Aditya Tare (captain, wicketkeeper), Akhil Herwadkar, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Abhishek Nayar, Siddesh Lad, Tushar Deshpande, Akshay Girap, Vijay Gohil, Shardul Thakur, Balwinder Sandhu, Armaan Jaffer, Jat Bista, Nikhil Patil.
Gujarat: Parthiv Patel (captain, wicketkeeper), Samit Gohel, Priyank Panchal, Bharghav Merai, Manprit Juneja, Rujul Bhatt, Chirag Gandhi, Rush Kalaria, R.P. Singh, Mehul Patel, Chintan Gaja, Hardik Patel, Dhruv Raval, Karan Patel.
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