Experienced Karnataka eye victory
After emerging champions in the South Zone one-day tournament in Goa last month, Karnataka will now look to add the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy to their kitty when the South Zone inter-state T20 tournament begins at Shimoga from Sunday.
Karnataka will face Goa in the opener at the PESITM grounds, while in other matches Kerala will take on Hyderabad and Tamil Nadu will face Andhra. But on familiar conditions, Karnataka will be a tougher opponent, and they have all the right ingredients for a limited-over side.
They have the experience of skipper R Vinay Kumar to bank upon, and their bowling department is well-served by the likes of Abhimanyu Mithun, HS Sharath, Ronit More, KP Appanna and K Gowtham. They also boast of some explosive names in the batting line-up such as vice-captain Stuart Binny, Manish Pandey, Mayank Agarwal and Kunal Kapoor. There might not be too much emphasis on solidity in the ultra-abridged version, but in the case an of an eventuality they have two rock-solid batsmen in Amit Verma and KL Rahul in their ranks.
This might also be a good chance for Kaunian Abbas, who has replaced Robin Uthappa, who has injured his ankle, in the line-up. The swashbuckling right-handed batsman he has showed his mettle while playing a crucial role in guiding the Jain College to title in the recently held College Premier League.
Matches: PESITM: Karnataka vs Goa; JNNCE: Kerala vs Hyderabad; VISL, Bhadravati: Tamil Nadu vs Andhra.