The first double-header of the second day of the eighth edition of Karnataka Premier League will witness Hubli Tigers taking on Shivamogga Lions at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium at 3.30 PM on Saturday, 17th August 2019.
After retaining Karnataka's favourite son Vinay Kumar and exciting all-rounder Praveen Dubey, the Hubli Tigers spent heavily in the auction to acquire the services of the big-hitting opening batsman Mohammad Taha and the experienced KB Pawan.
Apart from those two, the Tigers also strengthened their bowling attack by procuring the likes of David Mathias, Mithrakanth Yadav and Shivil Kaushik. Young bowler Vidhyadhar Patil has the ability to turn out as the surprise package for this season.
Their opponent on the day, Shivamogga Lions have also built up a good from the recent KPL auction. While they had already retained Nihal Ullal and Prithiviraj Shekhawat, the Shivamogga Lions beefed up their batting line-up by signing the star duo of Pavan Deshpande and Arjun Hoysala.
Meanwhile, on the bowling front, the lions wear have experience in their ranks through the experience of Abhimanyu Mithun and HS Sharath.
Squads to choose from
Hubli Tigers: R Vinay Kumar (C), Praveen Dubey, Mohammed Taha, Pawan KB, Aditya Somanna, Shishir Bhavane, Vidyadhar Patil, Mahesh Patel, Abhilash Shetty, David Mathias, Shivil Kaushik, Suraj Seshadri, Mithrakanth Yadav, Vishwanath M, KL Srijith, Luvnith Sisodia, Parikshith Shetty, Dheeraj Shashidhar.
Shivamogga Lions: Abhimanyu Mithun (C), Pavan Deshpande, Nihal Ullal, Prithviraj Shekhawat, Nidhish M, HS Sharath, Arjun Hoysala, Manjunath SP, Akshay Ballal, Sujith N Gowda, Rishabh Singh, Rohit Gowda, Rohit K, Prashant S, Hoysala K, Pradeep Gangadhar, Shivaraj S.
Probable Playing XIs
Considering that this match will be the first game for both sides, selection could be tricky and of a lottery nature. It will also be interesting to see which of the youngsters get a chance to feature in the playing XI for the first game.
Hubli Tigers: M Vishwanath, Mohammad Taha, Shishir Bhavane, KB Pawan, Luvnith Sisodia (wk), Praveen Dubey, Vinay Kumar (C), Mahesh Patel, Mithrakanth Yadav, David Mathias, Aditya Somanna.
Shivamogga Lions: Arjun Hoysala, Nihal Ullal (wk), Rohit K, Pavan Deshpande, Sujith Gowda, Manjunath SP, M Nidhish, Prithvi Shekhawat, Prasanth S, Abhimanyu Mithun (C), HS Sharath.
Hubli Tigers v Shivamogga Lions, Karnataka Premier League, Match 2
17th August, 3.30 PM IST
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.
Pitch and Weather Report
The weather forecast isn't great for Saturday but given Bengaluru's superb drainage system, a shortened match could be on the cards.
With respect to the pitch, it is expected to be a batter's paradise, like always. The short boundaries at the Chinnaswamy stadium will also test the spinners and this should make this match a pretty exciting battle.
Fantasy Tips and Suggestions
Wicket-keeper: M Vishwanathan will be the lone pick from the wicket-keeper's section. He played four games for the Bengaluru Blasters last season and scored at a quick pace. This season, he will open the batting for the Tigers alongside Mohammad Taha and could be a game-changer at the top of the order.
Batsmen: There will be three picks from this section and the players will be Mohammad Taha, Arjun Hoysala and M Nidhish. There doesn't need to be any special introduction, especially for Taha and Hoysala as they have consistently performed in the KPL. On the other hand, Nidhish is known to produce some serious fireworks in the middle order and will need to put across his best in this opening encounter.
All-rounders: Pavan Deshpande will be the first name on the team-sheet. He has had a fantastic last 12 months, having earned a contract with the Royal Challengers Bangalore for IPL 2019. In the KPL last year, Deshpande excelled for the Bengaluru Blasters as he scored 205 runs from seven matches at a strike rate of 131.41.
Similar to Deshpande, Praveen Dubey too had a good outing last season and was a key all-rounder for the Hubli Tigers as he notched up 152 runs from six matches at an average of 25.33 and was also handy with the ball.
The final choice among all-rounders will be Aditya Somanna, who picked up 10 wickets from six matches and also scored 86 runs at a strike rate of 143.33.
Bowlers: Considering the plethora of good options among the bowlers, it will be wise to go with four players. While leg-spinner Mahesh Patel ended last season's KPL as the leading wicket-taker, Abhimanyu Mithun and Mithrakanth Yadav will bring their experience to the fore.
The final choice will be Prithviraj Shekhawat who was retained by Shivamogga after a stellar 2018 season which saw him pick up 7 wickets while also chipping in with a few useful runs lower down the order.
Captain: The captain for this team will be Pavan Deshpande while the vice-captain could be Mohammad Taha, with his ability to provide a quick start. Others options for captaincy roles will be Praveen Dubey, Aditya Somanna and Arjun Hoysala.
Fantasy Suggestion #1: M Vishwanath, Mohammad Taha (VC), Arjun Hoysala, M Nidhish, Pavan Deshpande (C), Praveen Dubey, Aditya Somanna, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mithrakanth Yadav, Mahesh Patel, Prithviraj Shekhawat.
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Nihal Ullal, KB Pawan, Mohammad Taha, Arjun Hoysala (C), Shishir Bhavane, Pavan Deshpande, Vinay Kumar (VC), Aditya Somanna, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mahesh Patel, Prithviraj Shekhawat.