Mayank, Arvind back for semifinals

Injured duo of R Samarth and HS Sharath have been left out of Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy semifinal match against Punjab to be held in Mohali from January 18-22.

In-from opener Mayank Agarwal has been included in place of Samarth while veteran left-arm seamer S Arvind returns to replace Sharath in the 15-member squad announced here on Tuesday. Arvind played a couple of matches at the start of the season but was left out later after modest returns.

Samarth had fractured his right little finger while attempting a sharp catch in the quarterfinal against Uttar Pradesh and the right-hander has been ruled out for three weeks to completely recuperate from the injury.

In the same match, Sharath had hurt his bowling shoulder as he rolled over after a diving effort to stop the ball on the boundary line during Uttar Pradesh’s first innings. He left the field immediately never to bowl again in the match. The strapping right-arm quick has been advised further rest that has ruled him out of the semifinal. The 20-year-old, who has taken 32 wickets so far this season, will be sorely missed by Karnataka but fortunately for them he will be fit for the final should they qualify.  
 “Sharath is somebody when the chips are down, he’ll come and give his all even on a flat wicket,” said batting coach J Arun Kumar. “He’ll be out for one game and will be ready for the final, hopefully. He will travel with the team to Mohali and start his practice there. We want him to be with the team.”

The squad: R Vinay Kumar (captain), Robin Uthappa, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, CM Gautam (vice-captain & wk), Shreyas Gopal, A Mithun, Ronit More, Abrar Kazi, KP Appanna, Ganesh Satish, Amit Verma, S Arvind. Batting coach: J Arun Kumar; Bowling coach: Mansur Ali Khan; Manger: B Siddaramu; Trainer: Vasanth M; Physios: Shravan and Sriranga; Video analyst: Santhosh; Logistics Manager: A Ramesh Rao.

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