Karun Nair defends tactics after Karnataka fails to secure first-innings lead

Karun Nair defended his tactics after Karnataka narrowly failed to secure the first-innings lead over Madhya Pradesh in their Ranji Trophy clash.

The Karnataka captain was displeased with Karnataka's effort in the field on day three.   -  FILE PHOTO/ VIVEK BENDRE

Karun Nair defended his tactics after Karnataka narrowly failed to secure the first-innings lead over Madhya Pradesh in their Ranji Trophy clash here on Friday. The visitor was 45 runs behind when the ninth wicket fell, but two successive overs of spin from the Lake end -- bowled by K. Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal -- fetched 30 of those runs.

"It wasn't a risk (to bowl spin)," Karun stated. "I have three fast bowlers and they have bowled out their spells. They are not machines. There was no one else to go to. Bhajji (Gowtham) had to bowl that over. It was just his (Kuldeep's) day. Otherwise you can't have a No.11 coming in and just swinging from ball one and connecting with everything. If I had more fast bowlers with me, I'd have bowled them."

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The Karnataka captain was displeased with Karnataka's effort in the field on day three. "Pretty disappointing on the whole," he said. "We dropped a few too many catches and that cost us the first-innings lead. If we'd caught those catches, it would have been a different result."

Shreyas Gopal has endured a difficult season, taking six wickets for his 513 runs from seven matches. "It is a concern for the team as a whole and for him as an individual," admitted Karun. "He's a player that has done really well over the years and we need to back him. We are showing that confidence in him. Obviously, it's not going well for him. He's putting in the effort but the results are not coming. But he's a valuable asset for us."

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Only chance

Meanwhile, Shrivastava stated that he always had faith in Kuldeep's ability with the bat. "I knew I couldn’t score all those runs by myself,” he said. "I knew he could hit the ball a long way, that’s what fast bowlers do. So I told him to just go for it without thinking about losing his wicket. What else could I have done? It was our only chance.”

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