Led by T
amil Nadu middle-order batsman S Badrinath, South possesses a rich array of batting and bowling talent, including the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy season gone by.
The Karnataka duo of Manish Pandey (882 runs) and the exciting A Mithun (47 wickets) will be the cynosure, though the former sustained a finger injury during practice a couple of days back.
Six players from Karnataka, who lost to Mumbai by six runs in the Ranji final ten days back, figure in the South Zone squad which also has seven from Tamil Nadu, including the prolific Abhinav Mukund and the established KB Arun Karthik.
Mithun and R Vinay Kumar will spearhead the South bowling attack against a Central Zone side that amassed nearly 500 runs in the quarterfinals against East Zone last week. Skipper Mohammad Kaif had led from the front in that game with a double hundred as East went through on the first-innings, but having played -- and lost -- twice against Karnataka this year, the UP batsman will know his team has its hands full.
West play North
West Zone will take on North Zone in the other semifinal match starting here at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground.
Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer will lead West Zone, while Virat Kohli of Delhi will captain North Zone.