Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 semifinals: Dinesh Karthik focused, Mayank Agarwal boost for Karnataka

Karnataka’s bowling coach Sreenath Aravind said the first semifinal could be a battle between his side’s batting unit and Haryana’s bowling.

Tamil Nadu captain Dinesh Karthik at a practice session in Surat on Thursday.   -  VIJAY SONEJI

 

Tamil Nadu skipper Dinesh Karthik is a happy man after guiding his side to the knockouts yet again in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. It finished runners-up in the Vijay Hazare one-day competition last month.

Karthik returned to the hot seat after six years and is happy with the results so far. “It has been brilliant. A lot of credit goes to the coaches (D. Vasu and R. Prasanna) for making it easy for me. The players have been brilliant, from the way we have prepared, the attitude we have shown in pressure situations which is the most satisfying thing because that is something we were focused on right from the start,” said the 34-year-old on Thursday.

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On practising with the wet ball, Karthik explained, “that’s something we had to keep in mind. It’s an experience both for the batsmen and the bowlers. It was one of the things the coaches were keen on; to create a match situation as much as possible.”

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Meanwhile, Karnataka’s bowling coach Sreenath Aravind said the first semifinal could be a battle between his side’s batting unit and Haryana’s bowling. “Yes, their bowling attack is good but our batting strength is more important. Devdutt (Padikkal) is the highest run-getter so far, we have Manish Pandey,  K.L. Rahul is doing well at the right time. Mayank (Agarwal) is back and is our trump card. He has done well in knockouts in the past for us and in the big games, they hold the key.”

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