In-form Karnataka faces Hyderabad in a Ranji Trophy Group “A” encounter, beginning here tomorrow, hoping to capitalise on their rival’s lack of match play after rains washed out their last two games.
The focus would be on Karnataka’s stylish batsman K L Rahul and young paceman Mohammed Siraj of Hyderabad.
While Rahul has been picked again in the India T20 side for the series against New Zealand after being dropped for the ODIs, Siraj has earned a maiden call-up to the national (T20) squad.
The two would be keen to use the opportunity to gain match practice ahead of the T20s against New Zealand.
Rahul, who found himself on the outer for ODIs against the Kiwis, hit form by scoring 68 for Board President’s XI in a warm-up game in Mumbai.
Siraj, whose impressive domestic performances helped him break into the national side, would be keen to continue the good work and deliver the goods for his side.
After starting their 2017 Ranji Trophy campaign with a bang by hammering Assam by an innings and 121 runs, Karnataka would like to put in another strong performance against Hyderabad. Karnataka are second in the group behind Delhi with seven points.
For the home team, India discard Karun Nair would aim to make an impression, especially after he shone with a knock of 78 against New Zealand for Board President’s XI.
Karnataka’s batting appears formidable with the presence of Ravikumar Samarth and Krishnappa Gowtham, who scored centuries against Assam.
Skipper R Vinay Kumar leads a potent Karnataka attack that also includes Abhimanyu Mithun, S Aravind and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal, apart from Gowtham, and could prove quite a handful for the Hyderabad batsmen.
With its first two games having been washed out, Hyderabad faces a huge task in its hopes of qualification to the knockouts in the remaining games including one against Delhi.