A confident Karnataka, looking solid on paper, will clash with bottom-of-the-table Assam in a Group B Ranji Trophy game starting at the Bandra-Kurla Complex ground of the Mumbai Cricket Association.
The southern outfit, second on the table behind leaders Jharkhand — who have played one extra game — with ten points from two matches, head into the four-day clash with their morale boosted by the innings victory over Delhi at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Captained by Karun Nair, in the absence of injured regular skipper R Vinay Kumar, Karnataka appear to be carrying too many guns in all facets of the game for the comfort of Assam who, incidentally, are coached by former Karnataka and India spinner Sunil Joshi.
Even without Vinay, their bowling attack looks potent as was seen when Delhi were routed for 90 and 164 in Kolkata.
“Obviously we are missing Vinay, but injuries are part of the game. You cannot control them. We wish that he is back as soon as a possible but at the same time, we have bowlers who can step up and do well as well,” said Nair today.
“It’s not like we are short on bowlers or anything. We still have bowlers who can come up in his place and get wickets for us.
“Everyone is confident and looking forward to doing well in this game. We are looking forward to this game and do well,” Nair added.
Assam are aware of what confronts them and Joshi was candid in his assessment of his team’s chances against his former state.
“Of course, known faces in the opposition, feels nice. They have done well in the last game. I am sure their confidence will be high. Good for us that we are looking at a fresh start. Hopefully we can do well,” he said.
Assam have lost two matches and conceded the first innings in the other game they have played this season.
“I won’t say it’s a worse start. Yes, there is a room to improve. Every team goes through the grind; no wonder that Assam has to go through the grind. I hope the players change the mindset because playing on neutral venues, you need a good mindset,” said Joshi.