Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Back home, away-coach Yere Goud plots hosts' defeat

Of the 105 Ranji matches Goud played for Railways, 49 were at this ground, with 2654 runs at an average of 42.12. No wonder, he knows the ground so well.

Karnataka coach Yere Goud has a chat with premier batsman Karun Nair during a practice session. (File Photo)   -  VIVEK BENDRE

For 15 years, Yere Goud made the Karnail Singh Stadium in the heart of Delhi his home. On Saturday he was back, this time leading the Karnataka side and trying to plot defeat for the host and his erstwhile team Railways.

Karnataka has had a good beginning to the season, winning both the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (T20) and the Vijay Hazare (one-dayers) and then the opening Ranji Trophy game before hitting a hurdle and drawing the next two at home.

A win and then another draw following on highlight the team’s struggles to find consistency. Goud, who took charge last season, is hoping to hit the right notes as the competition enters the business end.

“It feels good, sort of homecoming for me. More than 100 games for Railways, 15 years on this ground, it is special. Harvinder Singh on the opposite bench makes it more special, we were together when Railways won those two titles and are still part of the Railways veterans group, so it is good to match up on field,” Goud said while overseeing the team’s first practice session here.

Of the 105 Ranji matches Goud played for Railways, 49 were at this ground, with 2654 runs at an average of 42.12. No wonder, he knows every area of the field as well as anyone. How much have things changed? “Well, the pitch has been relaid and so is expected to be different. But other than that, nothing’s changed here since back then. It’s more or less just the same as I left it,” he smiled.

Devdutt Padikkal bats during a nets session. (File Photo)   -  VIVEK BENDRE


And that, for him, would be an advantage in terms of passing insider information to the youngsters in his side. “Some of the senior players have already faced off against Railways here.

For youngsters like Devdutt (Padikkal) or Sharath Srinivas, I can give some inputs on what can be the scoring areas and the kind of ground and pitch that can be expected at Karnail Singh,” he added.

Goud, though, understands that things have changed since he last played and so is thankful for the added experience that someone like Sreenath Aravind brings to the side. The medium-pacer called it a day two years ago and immediately joined the side as bowling coach and Goud admitted that the immediacy helps players.

“The nature of the game has changed and so, when you that experience of recent experience, it helps the players understand better and get immediate results.

Aravind has played with Abhimanyu Mithun and Ronit More and so can explain things better. I am glad that, as a medium-pace unit, we are showing the progress we wanted at the start of the season,” he said.

Gowtham boost for visitor

The visitor would be boosted by the return of off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham, joining the side on Saturday night after being declared fit by the NCA in the fitness test on Friday. Gowtham, who picked up 14 wickets in the season-opening win against Tamil Nadu, had been out since then with a right toe injury.

Krishnappa Gowtham's return to the side is a major boost for Karnataka.   -  N Sudarshan


“Gowtham will be here at practice tomorrow. We have missed him in the last four games and were desperately wanting him back. He is our main spinner and will definitely be in the playing XI,” Goud confirmed.

Mahesh Rawat back for Railways

Meanwhile, Railways was bolstered by the return of experienced batsman-wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat for the tie. Rawat, who joined the team for Saturday’s practice for the first time this season had, along with others including Ashish Yadav and Anureet Singh, fallen out of favour with the RSPB after complaining against selection and administrative issues.

Anureet subsequently sought an NOC and is playing for Baroda this season.

The team is also likely to continue with List A captain Arindam Ghosh in charge with original captain Karn Sharma continuing to be ruled out of action with groin strain. Sharma played the first three games before sitting out the last two.

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