Ranji Trophy: Karnataka look to dislodge Delhi as table-toppers

After the defeat at the hands of Assam, Delhi will look for momentum before the knockouts, which almost looks a certainty.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 22, 2015, 14:07 PM IST
Ranji Trophy: Karnataka look to dislodge Delhi as table-toppers

Hubballi: Having registered their second outright win against Odisha in their last encounter, defending champions Karnataka would look to continue the winning streak when they take on table-toppers Delhi in a Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match here on Monday.

Karnataka are placed fourth in the points table after securing 21 points in six matches, with two outright wins and four drawn matches, whereas Delhi are on top of the table with 24 points in seven matches, having registered three outright victories. An outright victory will push the hosts to the top of the points table.

While Karnataka comes into the match with a lot of confidence after defeating Odisha and Rajasthan in away games, Delhi are a bit low in confidence after having lost their last encounter to Assam who have been on a surge, placed third with 22 points in the points-table after playing six matches.

Karnataka captain Vinay Kumar will expect the side's top batsmen Robin Uthappa, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair to continue their good work.

Uthappa, who had a sedate start this season, has hammered two consecutive centuries against Rajasthan and Odisha, which propelled Karnataka to register two outright victories.

Agarwal and Nair, also came good with their bat, scoring 78 and 73 runs, respectively, against Odisha. Nair and Uthappa had taken the game away from Odisha when they stitched a 169-run partnership for the fourth wicket and helped hosts post 168-run first innings lead.

Manish Pandey's return will bolster Karnataka's middle order as he comes into the team after fully recovering from an injury to the right index finger, which kept him out of Karnataka's last two matches.

Pandey, when he takes guard in the match if selected, he would reminisce his 104-run knock against Vidarbha in Bengaluru to inspire himself to play such a knock against the formidable Delhi.

On the bowling front, Karnataka will miss the services of Stuart Binny, who was instrumental in the team's victory against Odisha by bagging four wickets for 34 runs in the second innings, with the able support of leggie Shreyas Gopal and captain Vinay Kumar.

Karnataka bowlers - Vinay, Abhimanyu Mithun, H S Sharath, J Suchith and David Mathias, have been a revelation. They have played stellar roles in good performances put up by the hosts this season.

On the other hand, Delhi is coming into the match after slumping to their first loss of the season against Assam, who registered their third consecutive victory this season and it continued their upsurge in form after suffering two defeats from their first three games.

After the defeat at the hands of Assam, Delhi will look for momentum before the knockouts, which almost looks a certainty.