Junior-senior chemistry and bench strength help Karnataka raise bar

The presence of big players has played a role in this run of success. Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal have all played for India after performing exceptionally for Karnataka.

Published: 03rd December 2019 08:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2019 08:05 AM   |  A+A-

In his maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Devdutt Padikkal made 580 runs

In his maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Devdutt Padikkal made 580 runs

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka have taken the place of Mumbai in domestic cricket. One can say that the western giants are miles ahead in terms of Ranji Trophy titles won. But if one looks at consistency in recent times, there is no one who can match up with the southern powerhouse.
Of the last four men’s tournaments, Karnataka have won three — T20s in 2018-19, 2019-20 and one-dayers in 2019-20. The four-day crown has eluded them of late, but they were still the semifinalists in the last two seasons.

The presence of big players has played a role in this run of success. Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal have all played for India after performing exceptionally for Karnataka. Although bowlers of the current generation have not played for India yet unlike R Vinay Kumar or Abhimanyu Mithun, they have done their job nonetheless.

It is not only about the big names. The speciality of Karnataka and also the secret of their success has been bench strength. They unearth players who make immediate impact. Devdutt Padikkal, who made his debut in the shorter formats this season, amassed 1189 runs in two tournaments. Rohan Kadam is another who put his hand up when required and performed in big games.

“This team has a good mix of juniors and seniors. We treat the juniors very well and ensure that they are comfortable with everyone. We make them feel that they belong to this level. Only when they are comfortable, their best comes out. That is our success mantra if you ask me,” says off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham, an India A regular, who defended five in four balls in the last over of the T20 final against Tamil Nadu on Sunday.

This was evident in last season’s Ranji Trophy also, when Nair, Agarwal, Rahul, Pandey and  Prasidh Krishna not available. Newcomers Dega Nischal and KV Siddharth rose to the occasion, aggregating 620 and 728 runs, respectively.

In the bowling department, Ronit More emerged their best bowler when some of the regulars were not around. And when Gowtham missed a few games, left-arm spinner J Suchith chipped in with 24 wickets in five matches. It shows that despite having a few star players, Karnataka are not solely reliant on them.
“We do not depend on a single individual. In bowling and batting, it is the same. From the eleven selected, there is always someone or the other who delivers. This has played an important role in helping the team emerge victorious. Also, there is healthy competition in the team and players have to perform when they get a chance,” said More.

After winning the first two tournaments of the season, Karnataka will focus on the big one. They have not won the Ranji Trophy after 2014-15. When the tournament starts this time, they will be a hungry lot.

Stay up to date on all the latest Cricket news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp