Speedster Prasidh Krishna is set to make a return from a long injury layoff and has been named in Karnataka's 15-man squad to face Baroda in their final Ranji Trophy 2019-20 group stage encounter slated to take place from February 12th at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Karun Nair will continue to lead the side in the absence of regular captain Manish Pandey, while opening batsman Ravikumar Samarth has been named as Nair's deputy for this crunch game.
The hosts will be coming into this clash with 25 points from seven matches and are currently placed 5th on the Elite Group A & B points table. Either an outright win or a first-innings lead will seal Karnataka's spot in the quarterfinals of the competition.
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Baroda, on the other hand, have endured a dour campaign and have notched up just two wins from seven matches and are already out of contention for a spot in the last eight.
Karnataka team news
Prasidh to replace Prateek Jain
Prasidh Krishna last featured for Karnataka during his side's Vijay Hazare Trophy clash against Puducherry in October last year and has since then undergone rehabilitation at the NCA to recover from a stress fracture.
However, a fit-again Prasidh is always a big plus for Karnataka and it is likely that he will replace Prateek Jain in the playing XI, with the left-arm pacer losing out on his spot in the side.
Shreyas Gopal, Karun Nair seek a return to form
With skipper Nair having notched up just 220 runs from 9 matches in this edition of the Ranji Trophy, the right-hander will be keen to arrest his poor run of form and score big in the middle order that will undoubtedly have a big say in his side's push for six important points or even a first-innings lead.
Yet another player in focus in this game will be Shreyas Gopal, who has surprisingly failed to deliver with the ball, having scalped just 6 wickets from 7 games thus far. With Gopal returning to his favourite hunting ground, it will be interesting to see how the legspinner regains his lost touch.
Head to head record
Karnataka hold a slender lead over Baroda in head to head wins with five wins from 11 matches while Baroda have picked up three wins, and the other three games have ended in a draw.
However, notably, the hosts lost their clash against Baroda last year and have failed to pick up a win from the last five matches between these two sides, which will make it imperative for Karnataka to bring their A-game to the fore.
Karnataka won: 5
Baroda won: 3