Ranji Trophy | Cricket

Mumbai vs Karnataka: a battle of the heavyweights

Much work to be done: Karnataka has snatched the tag of the “team to beat” from Mumbai, but will have to get over its poor showing against Himachal.

Much work to be done: Karnataka has snatched the tag of the “team to beat” from Mumbai, but will have to get over its poor showing against Himachal.  

Mumbai and Karnataka will hope to revive their campaigns after poor performances last week

It is one of the most — if the not the most — high-profile affairs in the domestic cricket calendar.

However, more than living up to the ‘big match’ tag, both Mumbai and Karnataka will be hoping to revive their Ranji Trophy campaigns at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra-Kurla Complex facility.

Karnataka’s eight Ranji titles are the second-best to Mumbai’s whopping 41, but in the recent past, Karnataka has snatched the tag of the “team to beat” from Mumbai with consistent performances across formats. Still, the visiting outfit is recovering from a poor show versus Himachal Pradesh in Mysore last week.

To add to its woes, star opener Mayank Agarwal has been asked to skip the game by the BCCI medical team. It will result in Abhishek Reddy opening the innings either with R. Samarth or Rohan Kadam. Captain Karun Nair had a reason to smile, with pacer Ronit More having recovered from a niggle that forced him to the sidelines against Himachal.

The Mumbai camp, on the other hand, is still recovering from a shock loss to Railways at the Wankhede stadium last week.

Having started the season with a commendable win in Baroda after a forgettable last season, Mumbai’s season was derailed with a 10-wicket loss.

Opener Jay Bista has been the victim of an otherwise settled yet inconsistent batting line-up, losing his place in the side.

With Shardul Thakur set to join National duty along with Shreyas Iyer and Shivam Dube, Mumbai will pin its hopes on Ajinkya Rahane to make his last appearance of the season count for the home team with a big knock.

While vice-captain Aditya Tare is likely to open the innings with Prithvi Shaw, it will be interesting to see if Mumbai gets offie Shashank Attarde or left-arm spinner Vinayak Bhoir to make up for Thakur’s absence.

Considering the flat deck, captain Suryakumar Yadav hinted at including a spinner but an early start — 9am — to ensure full day’s play may tempt the home team to bolster its pace department.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:39:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/mumbai-vs-karnataka-a-battle-of-the-heavyweights/article30467173.ece

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