Reaching semis was good achievement: Goud

Last Updated 28 January 2019, 16:50 IST

With star players set to be busy with national commitments during the first half of the Ranji Trophy, drastic changes were expected in the Karnataka squad.

Karnataka’s 2018-19 campaign, which ended with a defeat to Saurashtra in the last-four stage here on Monday, saw eight players making their debut. Yere Goud, Karnataka’s batting coach, said the semifinal appearance was a decent job considering the shuffling that took place in the team.

"In every game, due to different reasons, we had to make at least two changes in the playing XI. Despite these challenges, we managed to reach the semis and that’s a good achievement,” Goud told reporters.

In the semifinal, Karnataka were favourites, at least on paper. The hosts made a terrific comeback after posting a below average first innings score of 275. However, their batting flopped again in the second essay. “In the second innings, we should have scored 350 plus. We should have batted better. We wanted to bat them out of the game,” said the former Karnataka and Railways batsman.

R Samarth’s (168 runs from 7 matches) horrific season meant Karnataka failed to get good starts. The big call of playing the right-hander in place of the in-form D Nischal (620 runs) backfired. “Nischal, to be honest, had gone into a shell in the last five innings. Samarth, we thought, would come good in a big game with his experience,” said the coach.

K V Siddharth, in his debut season, is the top run-getter with 720 runs. But with Samarth and Nair (224) enduring poor runs, Karnataka didn’t have a big gun piling huge runs. “Throughout the season, we lost at least two wickets in the first 15 overs and that was a problem. Many times, Shreyas (Gopal) and Vinay (Kumar) helped us to good total,” Goud pointed out.

The management took some tough decisions in dropping big names like CM Gautam and Stuart Binny. Goud said supporting youngsters will be the way forward. “The message to the debutants was that they shouldn’t worry about their place in the side and they will get more matches. We want to keep building their confidence,” Goud offered.

(Published 28 January 2019, 16:42 IST)

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