What's the story?
In a big boost to Karnataka's chances ahead of their quarterfinal clash against Jammu & Kashmir, ace middle-order batsman Manish Pandey has been named in the 15-man squad for the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 game which is scheduled to take place at the Gandhi Memorial Science Ground in Jammu from 20th February.
Notably, despite Pandey's return, Karun Nair will continue to lead the side with the right-hander having done a commendable job of leading the side to the last eight.
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In case you didn't know
Karnataka went into their last group stage against Baroda needing to pick up either a first-innings lead or an outright win to seal an assured spot in the quarterfinals.
A combined performance from the bowlers and Karun Nair, who put an end to his drought of form to score 47 and 71 helped his side scale a 149-run target and register an 8-wicket win that saw Karnataka book a spot in the knockout stages.
Heart of the matter
Manish Pandey's addition to the side will undoubtedly add a lot of value to the Karnataka side, given that the stylish right-hander was in fine form for the side in the previous edition of the Ranji Trophy with 439 runs from five matches.
In this edition of the Ranji Trophy, Devdutt Padikkal leads the run-charts for Karnataka with 547 runs from eight matches, while Abhimanyu Mithun has picked up 27 wickets from six matches and will hold the key for his side with the ball.
In terms of head to head records, Karnataka and Jammu & Kashmir have squared off in just one game in the past, in a game that saw the former register an innings and 30 run win in Hubballi back in 2015.
Karnataka squad: Karun Nair (C), Ravikumar Samarth, Devdutt Padikkal, Manish Pandey, Pavan Deshpande, KV Siddharth, Sharath Srinivas (wk), BR Sharath (wk), Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jagadeesha Suchith, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ronit More, Prasidh Krishna, Prateek Jain.
While Karnataka will enter the game with the favourites tag, Jammu & Kashmir have done well this season and finished on top of the Elite Group C points table with six wins from eight matches.
Given that both sides will be coming into this game on the back of some top form, expect a riveting clash on the cards.Published 17 Feb 2020, 17:55 IST