Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Karun Nair named skipper of Karnataka's 15-man squad for opening match against Tamil Nadu
What's the story?
Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal has been named his deputy, with the seam bowling duo of V Koushik and KS Devaiah earning maiden call-ups to the senior state side.
In case you didn't know
The 2019-20 edition of the Ranji Trophy will be the 86th edition of the state-wise competition and will see the Faiz Fazal-led Vidarbha side beginning the season as the defending champions, on the back of their 78-run win against Saurashtra in the final last season.
Karnataka have enjoyed resounding success at the Ranji Trophy, having won the tournament on eight different occasions, with their last win coming at the end of the 2014-15 season under the leadership of Vinay Kumar.
Heart of the Matter
Karnataka will go into their first match against Tamil Nadu without the services of KL Rahul and Manish Pandey, with both the stars away on national duty as India take on West Indies in a three-match T20I series beginning on 6th December in Hyderabad.
However, the presence of India international Mayank Agarwal and the prospect of the right-hander opening with 19-year-old southpaw Devdutt Padikkal will certainly bode well for Karnataka, with Nair, Pavan Deshpande and Krishnappa Gowtham forming the core of the side's middle order.
Last season's opening duo of Ravikumar Samarth and Dega Nischal are also part of the side, while Sharath Srinivas and BR Sharath are the two names in contention for the wicket-keepers' spot.
The bowling unit led by Ronit More features quite a few new names in V Koushik and KS Devaiah, with David Mathias making a return to the side having last played a first-class match against Maharashtra in 2016.
Full squad -
Karun Nair (C), Shreyas Gopal (VC), Mayank Agarwal, Devdutt Padikkal, Dega Nischal, Ravikumar Samarth, Pavan Deshpande, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jagadeesha Suchith, BR Sharath (wk), Sharath Srinivas (wk), Ronit More, David Mathias, V Koushik, KS Devaiah.
Karnataka will begin their 2019-20 Ranji Trophy campaign when they face off against their arch-rivals Tamil Nadu in their opening clash at Dindigul on 9th December, 2019.