The opening fixture of the Karnataka Premier League 2019 will see last year's finalists Bengaluru Blasters square off against the Amit Verma-led Mysuru Warriors at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
The Blasters have made some exciting signings in the form of Rohan Kadam, who was the highest-run scorer from the 2018 Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy and Sharath BR, who is an exciting prospect at the top of the order.
Having retained ace pacer V Koushik and young Manoj Bhandage ahead of the season, the Blasters also roped in the services of Rongsen Jonathan, who will be leading the side for this season.
The Mysuru Warriors have also bolstered their side with useful additions in the form of Amit Verma and Aniruddha Joshi, with the duo set to lead the batting unit while pacer Vyshak Vijaykumar and left-arm spinner J Suchith will be keen to repay the faith invested on them by the franchise.
Squads to choose from
Bengaluru Blasters: Rongsen Jonathan (C), V Koushik, Manoj Bhandage, Rohan Kadam, Sharath BR, Bharath Duri, Anand Doddamani, Naga Bharath, Bharath D, Anil IG, Nikin Jose, Anuraj Bajpai, Nishant S Shekhawat, Muthanna Chandrasekhar, Kishore Kamath, Kuldeep Kumar, Rishi Bopanna, Aditya Goyal.
Mysuru Warriors: Amit Verma (C), Aniruddha Joshi, J Suchith, Vyshak Vijaykumar, Shoaib Manager, M Venkatesh, Devaiah KS, KV Siddharth, Kushal Wadhwani, Vinay N Sagar, Saurabh Yadav, Manjesh Reddy, Sankalp Shettinavar, BU Shivkumar, Ram Sarikh Yadav, Jayesh Babu, Kishan Bedare, Dega Nischal.
Probable Playing XIs
Both sides boast of some quality talents from the domestic circuit and will be keen on getting their campaign off to a positive start.
Bengaluru Blasters: Sharath BR (wk), Rohan Kadam, Rongsen Jonathan (C), Naga Bharath, Nishant S Shekhawat, Nikin Jose, Bharath Duri, Manoj Bhandage, Anil IG, Anand Doddamani, V Koushik.
Mysuru Warriors: Dega Nischal, Anirudha Joshi, KV Siddharth, Amit Verma (C), Manjesh Reddy, Shoaib Manager, Vinay N Sagar (wk), Jagadeesha Suchith, M Venkatesh, Kushal Wadhwani, Vyshak Vijaykumar.
Bengaluru Blasters v Mysuru Warriors, Karnataka Premier League, Match 1
16th August, 7.30 PM IST
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Pitch and weather report
M Chinnaswamy Stadium is known to have produced a number of high-scoring thrillers in the past and will stay true to its behavior in all likelihood. The small dimensions and fast-paced nature of the pitch is bound to favor batsmen and we could expect big scores from this game.
Rain has played spoilsport to a number of practice sessions in the lead up to this game and showers are expected throughout the evening. Thunderstorms are expected in the evening, although we could expect a shortened game.
Fantasy Tips and Suggestions
Wicket-keeper: Sharath BR should be the first-choice wicket-keeper, with the youngster enjoying a good outing last season with 106 runs from five matches at a strike rate of 123.26. Given that he could open the batting for the Blasters, he is a safe choice to pick.
Batsmen: One of the most destructive openers in the local circuit, Rohan Kadam will be a key player for the Blasters at the top of the order while Blasters' skipper Rongsen Jonathan, who has a penchant for churning out long knocks at a fast pace will look to put the Warriors' bowlers under test.
From the Warriors, KV Siddharth's ability to thrive under pressure will see the youngster playing a key part of this batting unit while Shoaib Manager, who averaged 35.00 for the Warriors last season could finish as the top-run scorer for his side.
All-rounders: The Mysuru Warriors have a plethora of all-rounder to choose from this season and three big names from this list would be skipper Amit Verma, Aniruddha Joshi and Jagadeesha Suchith.
Skipper Verma scored 158 runs and picked up 6 wickets from last season while Joshi struck the ball extremely well for the Lions last season, at a strike rate of 141.12. Jagadeesha Suchith's 7 wickets from last season saw him being retained by the franchise and the trio will be keen to lead the Warriors to an important win.
Bowlers: Two young and exciting pacers will be leading their respective teams' pace attacks for this season as V Koushik and Vyshak Vijaykumar will spearhead their bowling unit and will bank on the pace and bounce off the wicket to stem the flow of runs.
Left-arm spinner Anand Doddamani, who finished with 8 wickets from six matches at fabulous economy of just 6 last season including a final will have the onus on himself to keep the Warriors' batsmen from batting the Blasters out of the game.
Captain: Anirudha Joshi boasts of a fantastic big-hitting ability and could be a match-winner for his side on a belter of a pitch. Other captaincy options are Blasters' skipper Rongsen Jonathan and Warriors' skipper Amit Verma.
Fantasy Suggestion #1: B Sharath, K Siddharth, R Kadam, R Jonathan (VC), S Manager, A Verma, A Joshi (C), J Suchith, A Doddamani, V Koushik, V Vijaykumar.
Fantasy Suggestion #2: N Bharath, R Kadam (C), D Nischal, S Manager, R Jonathan, A Joshi, J Suchith, A Verma (VC), A Doddamani, V Koushik, V Vijaykumar.