Karnataka eye a dominant show against Railways

Karnataka have nearly monopolised the domestic circuit since last year. In the new Ranji Trophy season, too, they remain the team to beat.

With two outright wins against Tamil Nadu and Bengal, they have given a peek into the power they have in all departments. The defending champions will now look to conquer an unfancied Railways in another away tie at the Karnail Singh stadium, starting from Sunday.

The Railways have little to match them on paper. But the hosts have shown in their previous two matches that they are an effective bunch. Against Madhya Pradesh and Mumbai they collected points by taking the first innings lead.

The Karnail Singh Stadium has come out of ban this season after being dumped as a venue two seasons ago for sub-standard pitch.

The re-laid track with green top promises to assist pace bowling and with winter in the capital in full swing, the conditions are ideal for the seamers. The Railways batsmen surely have a tough task against the strong Karnataka bowling attack, led by skipper R Vinay Kumar. Vinay had starred against Bengal, taking six wickets in the second innings and setting up the match for his team.

In fact, Vinay when he bowls on Sunday, will be on the verge of an unusual hat-trick. He wrapped up the Bengal innings with wickets in his last two balls of that match at the Eden Gardens. With the likes of Abhimanyu Mithun, Stuart Binny and Sreenath Aravind to back him, Karnataka would look to pile pressure on the flaky Railways batting.

“It has been a good start to the season. We have a side in which some of the players have represented the country and that gives us huge confidence.  Most of the players are experienced. After the two outright wins, the morale of the team is high,” said Vinay.

“The wicket looks a green top and our medium pacers have done well. But you can’t take any opposition lightly. Railways are a good side.” The strong point of this Railways side is also its pace attack. The trio of Anureet Singh, Ranjit Mali and KK Upadhaya revel in each other’s company. Anureet has carried his good form of last season and has already taken 12 wickets. Mali broke the back of Mumbai with an inspiring spell.

Under such circumstances, it could be a case of survival in the middle.

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