Ranji Trophy: Will treat all group games like knockouts, says Karnataka head coach

Karnataka may be placed in a relatively easy group - alongside Puducherry, Railways and Jammu & Kashmir - but passage to the knockout rounds is far from guaranteed.

Yere Goud

Karnataka coach Yere Goud during a practice session in 2018.   -  The Hindu Archives

The curtailed Ranji Trophy edition, with each group containing only four teams, leaves no room for an off day, Karnataka head coach Yere Goud stated.

Karnataka may be placed in a relatively easy group - alongside Puducherry, Railways and Jammu & Kashmir - but passage to the knockout rounds is far from guaranteed.

“We don’t view it as an easy group. We played J&K in the quarterfinal in the last edition (Karnataka won the match). Railways have done well in the past, and Puducherry did well in the one-dayers and almost qualified for the knockout rounds,” Goud said at a training session on Monday.

“The format is such that only the group topper qualifies for the knockout rounds. So we can’t afford to have even one bad session. We will treat all the group games like knockout matches. If we want to win the Ranji Trophy this time, then it’s about winning six games (three group games and three knockout games),” Goud said.

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Karnataka will play its matches at Chennai. The tournament is set to commence later this month. The BCCI has not officially announced the match schedule yet.

There is excitement in the camp given that the marquee Ranji Trophy is set to return to the domestic fold after a gap of two years. Players have competed in T20 and 50-over tournaments in this period, but the feeling of stepping onto the field in traditional whites with the red ball in hand is unmatched.

Goud believes his players are well suited to making the transition to the longest format. “We’ve been working on three core areas - temperament, concentration and fitness. For example, batters need to have the temperament to tackle spinners on turning tracks and seamers on seaming tracks. If you have the three qualities, then the format doesn’t matter. It’s just about making psychological adjustments. We’ve been working on these areas. The boys are ready,” Goud said.

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