#NewsBytesExclusive: Amol Muzumdar talks about his cricketing journey
In 1988, a young Amol Muzumdar was padded up when Shardashram Vidyamandir lost two wickets in the Lord Harris Shield semi-final. Little did he know that a 664-run partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli would hog the limelight entirely. Notwithstanding, he soon became the backbone of the batting line-up of Mumbai. In an interview with NewsBytes, Muzumdar opened up on his cricketing journey.
A look at Amol Muzumdar's career record
A domestic circuit veteran, Amol Muzumdar amassed 11,167 runs from 171 First-class games at 48.13. In 1993/94, he scripted history by recording the highest individual score on First-class debut. Muzumdar racked up an unbeaten 260 in a Ranji pre-quarter-final against Haryana. Sixteen years later, he became the leading run-getter in Ranji Trophy history. However, Wasim Jaffer overtook him later on.
'Loved batting with Kambli, Jaffer', says Muzumdar
Muzumdar talked about his memorable partnerships. "I enjoyed batting with Vinod Kambli, a lovely cricketer, lovely to watch from the other end. I had a lot of memorable partnerships with him over a decade that I played for Mumbai. He played a huge role in my career," he said. "I also enjoyed my stints with Wasim Jaffer. His shot-selection was absolutely magnificent."
'Learned the dynamics of game from Sanjay Manjrekar'
Muzumdar described how his former teammate Sanjay Manjrekar inspired him to lead in different scenarios. "Sanjay Manjrekar is one guy whom I learned a lot with. It was an education for me. I used to observe him quite a lot when he would bat and take field. As a captain, I learned how to handle different situations, watching him," added Muzumdar.
Sachin had a profound aura: Muzumdar
During his career, Muzumdar also had the honor of sharing the dressing room with Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. "It goes without saying Sachin had an aura and personality, that was unmatched. I have played with him since my school days. However, I am sure some of the Mumbai players who had never played with him, must have felt some kind of void," he stated.
Muzumdar was handed the leadership role in 2006-07
Muzumdar was named the captain of Mumbai for the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy season. In his maiden (official) season as captain, he led the side to victory. He also finished as the team's leading run-scorer after registering 538 runs in eight matches at 48.90. Notably, Indian opener Rohit Sharma, who made his Ranji Trophy debut under Muzumdar that season, followed him on the tally (531).
Muzumdar feels Mumbai are struggling in the bowling segment
Interestingly, Mumbai haven't won a single Ranji Trophy title since the 2015-16 edition. Muzumdar feels the side lacks quality bowlers. "It's a difficult time for Mumbai. The team doesn't have quality bowlers. No offense to any particular bowler, we do have some superb bowlers who are representing India too," he asserted. "I don't see any Mumbai bowler climbing up the ladder."
Muzumdar lavishes praise on Rohit Sharma
"There was a buzz around Mumbai cricket that he is a good prospect with immense talent. You could see it right from the beginning. He took no time to adjust. I feel nice to be the first captain of Rohit Sharma," said Muzumdar.
Muzumdar was named South Africa's batting coach in 2019
Following his retirement, Muzumdar ventured into the coaching arena. He enjoyed several stints with India Under-19 and Under-23 sides, Netherlands cricket team and Rajasthan Royals. In 2019, Cricket South Africa (CSA) appointed him as the batting coach for the Test series against India. He joined the Proteas contingent alongside former cricketer Lance Klusener, who served as the assistant batting coach.
'Felt proud to be part of Test cricket'
Although Amol Muzumdar might have not played international cricket, he still continues to impart his valuable experience. "People say that I didn't play for India. But when I wore the South African colors on Day 1 of the Visakhapatnam Test, I felt proud. It was Test cricket. I said to myself, 'after today, nobody can say I haven't tasted international cricket'," he concluded.