Shreyas to lead State against Saurashtra

Shreyas Gopal

Leg-spinning all-rounder Shreyas Gopal will lead Karnataka in their fifth Group B Ranji Trophy game against Saurashtra in Rajkot from January 11. 

Shreyas was handed the leadership duties after Karun Nair declared himself unavailable for the game because of his marriage. Nair will enter wedlock on January 16 in Udaipur. 

In a positive development, KV Siddharth, Karnataka's highest-run getter the previous season with 728 runs, returned to the squad following a lengthy injury lay-off. The 27-year-old right-hander was out of action after he hurt his shoulder during the  Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Pavan Deshpande, who suffered a finger injury in Karnataka's opener against Tamil Nadu in Dindigul, also made his way back in the squad. He replaced top-order batsman Abhishek Reddy, who scored just 36 runs from three innings. 

The injured K Gowtham and Prasidh Krishna continue to remain on the sidelines. Karnataka, who beat Mumbai by five wickets in the previous encounter, are second in the combined (Group A & B) table with 16 points, including two wins and as many draws. Punjab top the table with 18 points from four matches. 

Squad: Shreyas Gopal (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, D Nischal, R Samarth, KV Siddharth, BR Sharath, Sharath Srinivas, Rohan Kadam, Pavan Deshpande, J Suchith, Abhimanyu Mithun, Pravin Dubey, Ronit More, Prateek Jain, V Koushik. 

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