Ranji Trophy Final Preview: Karnataka vs Maharashtra, bowlers hold the key | Khelnama

Ranji Trophy Final Preview: Karnataka vs Maharashtra, bowlers hold the key

Ranji Trophy Final Preview: Karnataka vs Maharashtra, bowlers hold the key

by P.L. Aravind | Cricket | 28th Jan 2014

Bangalore, Jan 28: Surprisingly, both Maharashtra and Karnataka’s road to the final has been very similar as they get ready for the final flourish. While their batsmen have been consistent, the pacers have provided them the breakthroughs.

But it looks like the pitch at Uppal, will surely throw up a different kind of challenge at them. There has been little grass on the track and is likely to help the spinners and this is going to be a challenge for both the teams and may be this might favour Maharashtra a bit.

For the first time in years, Maharastra will be entering into the finals high on confidence. The batsmen have plundered runs and all their top-five batsmen have got past 500 runs, with Kedar Jadhav leading the tally with 1074 runs with five hundreds. Other opener Harshad Khadiwale had 980 runs with three centuries.

On a whole Maharashtra batsmen have scored 12 hundreds this season and the availability to Vijay Zol will be a huge plus. On the other hand Karnataka batsmen too have 13 centuries this season with Karun Nair, three consecutive centuries and Manish Pandey with three centuries shouldering their team’s responsibilities.

Karnataka have enough depth in their batting line-up as displayed in quarterfinals and semifinals and it looks like a pretty even between both the teams. This means the bowlers will have their task cut out and may well be the ones who win the Ranji Trophy for their team.

With Vinay Kumar (22 wickets) and A. Mithun (36 wkts) in their line-up Karnataka seem to have an edge, but Maharashtra too are not far behind. As Karnataka miss the services of HS Sharath (32 wkts), Maharashtra pacers Srikanth Mundhe (30), Smad Fallah (31) and Anupam Sanklecha (22) have struck in tandem.

But the highest wicket-taker for Maharashtra is their left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar (32) and this means they have an edge here when the track starts helping spinners. Karnataka after testing a few settled with leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal, who has four matches with 18 wickets.

Being equally balanced, it is the team that bowl better will go back home with a huge smile on their face.