Karun Nair to lead Karnataka in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

Karun Nair will lead Karnataka in Manish Pandey’s absence in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy which gets underway at the Alur Grounds from January 10.

Karun Nair will lead Karnataka's 20-man squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy.

Karun Nair will lead Karnataka in Manish Pandey’s absence in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy which gets underway at the Alur Grounds from January 10. Pandey suffered an elbow injury during India’s limited overs series against Australia and is out of the domestic T20 competition.

Karnataka, the two-time defending champion, will also miss the services of frontline batsmen K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal but the hope is that the duo would return after the Test series in Australia, in time for the knock-out stages (starting January 26) should Karnataka qualify. A 20-man squad for season-opener was announced on Sunday.

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“I would have said their absence will impact the squad if we didn't know what it was to win,” said Fazal Khaleel, chairman of the selection committee. “This now gives our youngsters exposure. We are hoping for KL and Mayank to come for the knockouts and further boost our chances.”

Wicket-keeper batsman K.L. Shrijith and bowling all-rounder M.B. Darshan are the new faces in the list, rewarded for their good performances in the recently concluded YS Ramaswamy Memorial and KSCA Twenty20 tournaments.

Speedster Prasidh Krishna and K.V. Siddharth, both of whom missed last season’s victorious campaign because of injuries, will look to leave a mark this time around. R. Samarth, who played a lone match last edition, doesn’t find a place.

Karnataka squad:

Karun Nair (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Rohan Kadam, Pavan Deshpande (vc), Siddharth KV, Shrijith KL (wk), Sharath BR (wk), Anirudha Joshi, Shreyas Gopal, Gowtham K, Suchith J, Pravin Dubey, Mithun A, Prasidh Krishna, Prateek Jain, Koushik V, Ronit More, Darshan MB, Manoj Bhandage, Shubhang Hegde

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