Karnataka look to reverse trend

Karnataka look to reverse trend

Runners-up for the last three editions, Karnataka will look to reverse the trend when they begin their campaign against a lowly but tricky Goa in the South Zone one-day tournament for the Subbaiah Pillai Trophy here at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Monday.

While the hosts have won most of their contests against Goa, it was the defeat against this very side which had denied them the title when the tournament was held here last in 2002. Tamil Nadu, who won with a bonus point on the same day, went on to win the title.

While it’s unlikely that that defeat will rankle the present team, which is almost totally different from the one that played eight years ago, they can drop their guard against the Goans only at their own peril.

Underlining the need to keep complacency at bay, skipper Robin Uthappa said the new faces have an ideal chance to warm up for the tougher clashes ahead. “There are a few youngsters in our side -- Kunal Kapoor and Karun Nair -- and it’s a good testing ground for them. I am sure they are looking forward to this tournament,” pointed out the Kodava.

Uthappa admitted that the Karnataka bowling wears a less formidable link. “We will certainly miss R Vinay Kumar, S Arvind and NC Aiyappa, especially in crunch situations,” he pointed out. “Their experience will be sorely missed. But we will also have to look at developing a second line of fast bowlers because we have seen Vinay and Mithun not available for us at a stretch. It’s tough on youngsters to come in and deliver straightaway but we have to test them at this level looking at the future.”

Goa skipper Shadab Jakati promised to put up a fight against Karnataka. “We know it will be a tough match but we are confident of doing well. We have players like Swapnil Asnodkar and Saurabh Bandekar. We also have some fine youngsters like Reagan Pinto and Rahul Keni (wicket-keeper).”

Teams (from):
Karnataka: Robin Uthappa (capt), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Ganesh Satish, Manish Pandey, Amit Verma, Stuart Binny, CM Gautam, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ronit More, KP Appanna, Kunal Kapoor, Raajoo Bhatkal, Abrar Kazi.

Goa: Shadab Jakati (capt), Swapnil Asnodkar, Sagun Kamat, Ganeshraj Narvekar, Reagan Pinto, Rohit Asnodkar, Rahul Keni, Sherbahadur Yadav, Robin D’Souza, Amit Yadav, Saurabh Bandekar, Gaurish Gawas, Vidyadhar Kamat, Rayan D’Souza, Amog Dessai.