Vinay Kumar returns for host, Tripathi to lead Maharashtra

Vinay’s return will mean that either Prasidh Krishna or Ronit More will have to sit out; Maharashtra regular skipper Ankeet Bawne had to leave for India A duties.

Karnataka skipper R. Vinay Kumar, who missed the previous match due to an injury, is fit and raring to go.   -  FILE PHOTO/G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR

 

In any Ranji Trophy season, outright wins count as gold. With only the top five out of 18 teams from Group A and Group B set to progress to the quarterfinals, the six points earned from a victory goes a long way.

Karnataka, which has drawn both of its fixtures thus far, currently sits fourth on the combined group standings. These are early days, but the side will do well to go one better sooner rather than later. The same applies for rival Maharashtra, which too comes into this outing on the back of two draws.

“We need to win one or two games in quick time, so this game is crucial for us,” Karnataka skipper R. Vinay Kumar said here on Tuesday.

Vinay, who missed the previous match due to an injury, is fit and raring to go. “I’m fully fit now. I had a minor niggle - a stiff back, which is why I sat out against Mumbai. It’s a long season, so it’s better to take proper rest and recover well,” the pacer added.

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Vinay’s return will mean that either Prasidh Krishna or Ronit More will have to sit out. It’s a tough choice, given that More picked up a five-for in the first innings against Mumbai, while Krishna is seen as a good talent. The experienced A. Mithun, alongside Vinay, will lead the fast bowling attack.

A selection puzzle appears on the batting front as well. “Between Devdutt Padikal, Abhishek Reddy, Liyan Khan and Pavan Deshpande, two will play in the eleven,” Vinay said.

K.V. Siddharth, who scored 161 and 71 n.o. in the last game, will look to build on a great start to his first-class career.

On the SDNR Wadeyar Ground pitch, Vinay said, “It’ll help the seamers on the first day. After that, it should be a good batting track.”

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Much like the host, Maharashtra is packed with young players. Captain Ankeet Bawane has been called up for the India ‘A’ squad for the New Zealand tour, and will miss this outing. In his absence, strokemaker Rahul Tripathi will lead the side.

Tripathi and in-form opener Ruturaj Gaikwad form the nucleus of the visitor’s batting line-up, while the bowling unit has been well served by the pace duo of Samad Fallah (seven wickets) and Anupam Sanklecha (six wickets), and left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav (11 wickets).

The squads

Karnataka: Vinay Kumar (Captain), Shreyas Gopal (Vice-captain), D. Nischal, K.V. Siddharth, Kaunain Abbas, Devdutt Padikal, B.R. Sharath, J. Suchith, A. Mithun, Prasidh Krishna, Ronit More, Abhishek Reddy, Pavan Deshpande, Sharath Srinivas, Liyan Khan.

Maharashtra: Rahul Tripathi (captain), Chirag Khurana, Satyajeet Bachhav, Nikit Dhumal, Samad Fallah, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Swapnil Gugale, Harshad Khadiwale, Rohit Motwani, Mukesh Choudhary, Akshay Palkar, Jay Pande, Anupam Sanklecha, Naushad Shaikh