Ranji Trophy 2022: Hardik Tamore - A New Star rises in the Mumbai Sky. Hardik Tamore scored century (115) in semi-final against Uttar Pradesh.
Mumbai cricket team and its players have been always known as ‘Khadoos’ for their dominant performance in Ranji Trophy. They have a whopping 41 Ranji titles out of a total of 86 editions of the tournament. Mumbai have always been filled with champions like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vegsarkar, Vijay Merchant, Rohit Sharma and Zaheer Khan. So, it is very difficult to make a place in the Mumbai squad for any young player.
The current Mumbai playing eleven is studded with star players like Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Armaan Jaffer, Sarfaraz Khan and Dhawal Kulkarni. Still, a youngster from Boisar made it into the Mumbai side and impressed everyone with his level-headed performance.
Boisar Boy Hardik Tamore impresses one and all
Hardik Tamore was an unknown name before the Ranji Trophy 2022 semi-final game against Uttar Pradesh, however, the wicketkeeper batter made cricket pundits across India sit up and take notice with a match-saving century batting in the lower order in this all-important game. He scored 115 runs off 233 balls, which is his second century in five first-class games.
Tamore joined opener Yashasvi Jaiswal in the middle with Mumbai struggling at 170-4; he added 63 runs with Jaiswal for the fifth wicket and followed it up by adding 113 runs with Shams Mulani for the sixth wicket. He was the last batter to be dismissed when Mumbai reached 393. Five wickets tumbled at the other end but Tamore maintained his cool and kept milking runs for his side.
For Hardik, playing cricket was not an easy proposition due to the long distance between his hometown and Mumbai. Mumbai is known as ‘Cricket Pandhari’ (home of cricket) in India; many youngsters crave for playing cricket for top clubs of the city and make their way into the first-class team of the city. Every player from Maharashtra daydreams about playing for Mumbai, as playing for the top side of India means being in the eyes of Team India selectors.
To make his dream come true, Hardik Tamore had to travel a staggering 128 kilometres from Boisar to Churchgate to play at Elf Academy every day and had to cover the same distance while returning home at night. He followed the routine for five straight years to achieve his dream to play cricket alongside his studies.
Tamore got an opportunity for Mumbai in Ranji Trophy 2019-20
At last, his sacrifices paid off when he shined in the white jersey for Mumbai by smashing a phenomenal century against Uttar Pradesh. The 24-year-old player has been a part of the Mumbai set-up for a long time in U-25, U-19 and U-16 teams. He was part of the recently concluded Colonel CK Nayudu Trophy, where he amassed 391 runs in six games with the help of one century and two half-centuries.
However, a place in the first-class side of Mumbai always eluded him till now as more experienced wicketkeeper batter Aditya Tare has been a permanent member of the side. Hardik Tamore would have not got any game in this season of Ranji Trophy, if Tare had not sustained an injury in the quarter-final game against Uttarakhand. So, Tamore got a rare opportunity to display his performance on the big stage and he made the most out of the opportunity by smashing a century when it was required urgently.
Before this game, Tamore got to play only 4 first-class games from his debut for Mumbai at the start of 2020. Now he has the biggest game ahead of him - the Ranji Trophy final against Madhya Pradesh starting from June 22 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Tamore will try to use this as another opportunity to show Mumbai selectors that there is ‘steel’ in his game.