Bangalore: They may be playing without a few key players but six-time champions Karnataka would start as favorites when they play Haryana in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals here from Monday.
The hosts lost key fast bowlers R Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun to national duty in Australia and Sreenath Aravind to injury but they have showed that they still have sufficient resources to bowl teams out in the league phase of the championship.
N C Aiyappa, returning to first class cricket after a two-year hiatus, and S L Akshay have put up their hands whenever their side has found itself in a tricky situation.
The batting too has stood the test of time, despite losing the talented Manish Pandey to a hernia operation.
Stuart Binny has been in rollicking form, aggregating 686 runs this season. Opener K B Pawan, Amit Verma and skipper Ganesh Satish too have been in good nick.
Robin Uthappa and Bharat Chipli too have chipped in, but have lacked consistency.
But the good showing in the run-up to the quarterfinals could count for nothing if Karnataka fail to fire in this crucial game.
The Amit Mishra-led Haryana cannot be taken lightly as it had accounted for itself well to qualify from Group B.
The wicket, which has a dash of grass, will help the seamers. It will be attest of nerves for the batsmen on this sporting deck.
"There will be movement in the first two sessions. As the match proceeds, it will be a good battign wicket," said KSCA curator Narayana Raju.