Musheer Khan Outshines the Master: Youngest Mumbai Batsman to Hit Century in Ranji Trophy Final

On the third day of the Ranji Trophy 2024 final, a new cricketing star emerged within the historic walls of the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, as Musheer Khan’s bat carved out a magnificent century against Vidarbha, cementing his place in the annals of cricketing lore. Musheer Khan’s innings of 136 runs not only propelled his team to a commanding position but also etched his name above cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar in the record books. At just 19 years and 14 days, Khan became the youngest cricketer from Mumbai to score a century in the final of India’s premier domestic championship, surpassing Tendulkar’s record, which has stood the test of time for 29 years.

Musheer’s performance was magnified by the presence of Tendulkar himself, who watched from within the stadium. Unaware initially of the Indian icon’s attendance, Musheer was informed mid-innings via the stadium’s big screen that Tendulkar was among the spectators. This revelation fueled his motivation, as he aimed to impress the man many regard as cricket’s most revered ambassador. “Sachin sir was watching today, and I had to impress sir,” Musheer recounted, reflecting on the moment he learned of Tendulkar’s presence.

The young Mumbai batsman’s remarkable finals journey began with a commanding double century in the quarterfinals, followed by a half-century in the semifinals. His journey has been one of resilience; after being dropped from the Ranji Trophy squad last year, he utilized the time to refine his technique. “I got to learn a lot about the (need to) work on the technique,” Musheer acknowledged, signaling a maturity beyond his years. According to him, countless hours of practice with his father, addressing weaknesses and honing his skill, have prepared him for this moment.

The rising star articulated the advantages of batting alongside seasoned Test cricketers Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer, noting the learnings gleaned from their experience and the ease it brought to his game. As bowlers focused their efforts on dismissing the established ‘Ajju dada’ (Ajinkya Rahane), Musheer found the space to flourish.

His partnership with Iyer was one of mutual understanding and a shared strategy of batting for extended periods to take the game out of the opposition’s reach. “It was a dream for me to score a century in the Ranji Trophy final,” Musheer said, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to bat with players he looks up to.

Musheer’s approach to batting is one that skews towards aggressive positivity, which is evident in his statement about not letting the bowler settle and consistently seeking scoring opportunities. “Risk is there in everything,” he stated, challenging the conventional wisdom of playing it safe. He highlighted preparation as the key to managing risk, indicating that playing with anticipation for varied deliveries, even bouncers, has been an integral part of his training.

The young cricketer’s groundbreaking ton marks a new chapter in Mumbai’s storied cricketing history and presents him as a potential beacon for India’s future batting prospects. With Tendulkar’s blessing seemingly passed down to this fruitful youth, the cricketing fraternity will be watching closely to see if Musheer Khan can continue to build on this historic feat and develop into a player worthy of his new-found status as a record breaker and a bearer of Mumbai’s cricketing pride.

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