The K.S. Subbaiah Pillai Trophy South Zone limited overs tournament enters a decisive phase here from Sunday. Currently Karnataka and Andhra lead the table with eight points each while Kerala (5), Tamil Nadu (5), Goa (-1) and Hyderabad (-1) trail behind.
The event’s biggest showdown – Karnataka vs Tamil Nadu – will be held at the BITS Pilani Ground near Vasco and in other key contests, Hyderabad will take on Goa while Andhra will test Kerala.
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu may have a history of crackling contests but out here, the respective think-tanks will try and iron out a few flaws.
Tamil Nadu’s top-order has been fragile in its two matches (31for two and 45 for three) with only skipper Dinesh Karthik (70 and 90) offering hope while S. Badrinath and Baba Aparajith played the support-cast.
Luckily for Karnataka, its batting has been excellent with Robin Uthappa (169 and 54) leading the way while the rest have shown a voracious hunger for runs though Manish Pandey is yet to join the party.
Full of runs
Doubts however linger around the bowling that gave away 318 and 270 to Goa and Kerala respectively but batting coach J. Arun Kumar emphasised that there is no cause for concern.
“The pitches have been full of runs and the bowlers tried their best and as for the match against Tamil Nadu, it is a big-game but I told the boys to treat it as any other game and give their best,” Arun said.
Meanwhile Hyderabad coach Sunil Joshi asked for some patience while evaluating his team that has performed poorly in the tournament’s initial phase.
“It is primarily a young team and we need to give it time. This is the transition phase. Yes we lost two games but the mood within the team is still upbeat and we want to do well,” Joshi said.
It rained on Friday night and Saturday was split between bright sunshine and overcast skies.
The weather might add another dimension to the tournament.
The article has been corrected for an error.