Rahul, Nair return for Hyderabad game

Rahul, Nair return for Hyderabad game

Karnataka had more reasons to feel confident for their next game against Hyderabad after their thumping victory against Assam in their Ranji Trophy season opener here on Tuesday.

As they head to Shivamogga for their second group-stage match, the return of senior batsmen K L Rahul and Karun Nair has further bolstered the side. Rahul, whose omission from the ODI squad for the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand raised eyebrows, was drafted into the Board President’s XI which will play two warm-up matches against the Kiwis.

Rahul and Nair, who is also in the Board President’s squad, are expected to join the Karnataka squad after the second warm-up game in Mumbai on Thursday.

Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar said the duo’s addition is a big advantage. “Having Rahul and Karun in the team is a big boost for us. Rahul has cemented his place in the Indian team while Karun is also doing well. Such is their impact that just by seeing their names the opponents are going to feel the pressure. They are very important as the juniors can learn a lot from them,” Vinay said.

Their return will force the think-tank to change the team combination. “All I can assure is that we will take decisions those are good for the team,” he offered.

Hyderabad’s game from Oct 24-27 will see J Arun Kumar, Karnataka’s coach till the last season, in the opposite camp. The former Karnataka batsman is currently the head coach of Hyderabad. Vinay said it would be an interesting face-off. “He knows our team very well and I know how he operates. So it will be a good test for us,” he said.

The squad: R Vinay Kumar (captain), R Samarth, K L Rahul, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Mir Kaunain Abbas, Pavan Deshpande, C M Gautam (wk), Stuart Binny, K Gowtham, Abhimanyu Mithun, Sreenath Arvind, Shreyas Gopal, J Suchith, Sharath Srinivas (wk).

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