Ranji Trophy: Karnataka coach Yere Goud puts focus on batting after semifinal loss

Karnataka was dismissed for a sub-300 total on ten occasions in this season of Ranji Trophy, with the highest total coming against Madhya Pradesh.

Karnataka coach Yere Goud with K. V. Siddharth during a nets session.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Karnataka’s continued batting frailties came to the fore in the Ranji Trophy semifinal defeat to Bengal, leaving coach Yere Goud with more than a few concerns to address.

The side was dismissed for a sub-300 total on ten occasions in the tournament, with the highest total coming against Madhya Pradesh (426 all out). The batting line-up - formidable on paper, even without the regular presence of stars like K. L. Rahul and Manish Pandey - managed just one century (R. Samarth's 108 vs Madhya Pradesh). Teenage southpaw Devdutt Padikkal (649 runs, 40.56 average) stood out as the only player to average above 40.

Goud chose to look at the positives, while adding that there is work to be done. “It has been a great season. We have won two titles (Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy), and we have entered the semifinals here. We are the only team to enter the last-four of all three formats. Yes, we will address our problems - like batting for four sessions," Goud said.

Mukesh Kumar goes from Bengal's support cast to lead pacer  

The poor form of captain Karun Nair is another cause for worry. Karun has endured through a poor campaign, making only 366 runs at an average of 26.14. This was only marginally better than his returns in last year's Ranji Trophy, where he scored 224 runs at an average of 24.88.

“Karun batted well against Baroda (47 and 71 n.o.) on a very difficult wicket. He’s working hard, but the results are not showing. Hopefully he’ll score big runs in the next season. Every player needs to introspect where he can improve. Everybody is a senior player, and they understand what they have to work on," Goud said.

On letting the advantage slip after having Bengal on the mat at 67 for six in the first essay, Goud said, “We can’t allow teams to recover from such a position to score 300-odd. That is where Bengal got the momentum on their side.”

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