Youngsters can step up in absence of Pandey, Rahul and Mayank: Karnataka coach

Coach Yere Goud said that the youngsters in the Karnataka side will have the opportunity to make a mark as the side aims a third successive Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Karnataka is a two-time defending champion but coach Goud felt that in T20 cricket there was little to separate teams.   -  SAMPATH KUMAR GP

Karnataka coach Yere Goud expressed confidence that youngsters would step up in the absence of bigwigs Manish Pandey, K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy.

“We can't replace those three players (Manish, Mayank and Rahul) because they are India players and a class apart,” he said. “But when we won the first Mushtaq Ali title two seasons ago, we didn't have KL in the squad. So youngsters have shown that they can step up. They must see this as another opportunity to make a mark.”

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Goud’s confidence stems from his players’ performance in the recently concluded YS Ramaswamy Memorial Trophy and KSCA T20 league. “We watched the knockout games of both the tournaments and all of them played at their highest level in those games. So I feel we are ready.”

Karnataka is a two-time defending champion but Goud felt that in T20 cricket there was little to separate teams. “This format itself is high-pressure. We can’t burden ourselves by thinking that we are two-time defending champions.”

“It’s a tricky tournament. One over can change the match and any team can surprise you. The moment you start overthinking, you are in trouble. So we will keep things simple.

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