MP likely to provide stiff challenge for Karnataka

Indore: It took Madhya Pradesh nearly five years to get back their Elite Status after being relegated during the 2004-05 season and they would like to make it count when they meet Karnataka in a Ranji Trophy quarterfinal which starts here tomorrow at the Holkar Stadium.

MP who have over the years been dubbed as chokers having lost quite a number of times at the Plate semi-final stage will be eager to prove that they can prove to be a handful opposition even though they haven’t played at the Elie level.

Karnataka have some match-winners in Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa who have the ability to turn a game on its head with
their willow. Also in good form are wicketkeeper CM Gautham, middle-order batsman Amit Verma and all-rounder Stuart Binny.

Even in the bowling department they have skipper R Vinay Kumar who has been the spearhead of their pace attack for a number of years.

With talented Abhimanyu Mithun and dependable Sreenath Aravind for company, the trio have the ability to run through a batting side if the conditions are slightly favourable for them.

The hosts though don’t have a big name save hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha. Ojha, who till recently was in national selectors’ radar has fallen out of favour and would be rather keen to prove a point. Ojha is one player who can destroy any domestic opposition on a given day. However it is his inconsistency which has proved to be his undoing.

But MP still have a decent batting line-up with the likes of skipper Devendra Bundela, Deccan Chargers player Mohnish Mishra --- both of whom have scored more 500 plus runs this season.

The bowling depends largely on seamers TP Sudheendra, Anand Rajan who have had a good run in the Plate division.


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