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The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran
November 15, 2008
Match factsNov 16-19, 2008
The Big Picture
Andhra's troubles so far this season have been mainly because of their ineffective bowling attack: their batsmen have run up scores in the region of 350 in both matches but Andhra have ceded the vital first-innings lead on both occasions, costing their side four points.
While Karnataka's bowling hasn't been in top form this season, their real area of concern is the inexperienced batting; they folded for 127 against Railways and were forced to follow-on against Tamil Nadu. The specialist batsman with most matches under his belt is 23-year-old captain Robin Uthappa, with no other senior pro to guide the newcomers in the line-up. That drawback has been addressed by the inclusion of Rahul Dravid, who will be looking to play himself into form after an extended fallow period on the international circuit.
Players to watchBesides Dravid, the other man to watch in the Karnataka side is Uthappa, who finds himself in the doldrums as far as national selection is concerned. When he was dropped from the ODI side after a promising beginning in 2006, he made his case with a spectacular Ranji season, amassing 854 runs to lead the batting charts. Uthappa started this season in a similar vein, with a superb Challenger Trophy and a century against Railways before being laid low by a viral fever. He has been declared fit for this match and how he fares will have a large bearing on Karnataka's performance.
For Andhra, 24-year-old legspinner M Suresh has made a great start to the season; the two best bowling performances in his first-class career have been in the two matches he's played this season. There was also a doughty 46 at No. 8 against Uttar Pradesh, which boosted Andhra's total to a challenging 349.
TeamKarnataka (from): Robin Uthappa (capt), Rahul Dravid, KB Pawan, C Raghu, G Satish, Thilak Naidu (wk), Manish Pandey, Sunil Joshi, Vinay Kumar, NC Aiyappa, Sunil Raju, S Aravind, Deepak Chougule, KP Appanna, CM Gautam.
Andhra (from): Y Gnaneswara Rao (capt), AG Pradeep, D Kalyankrishna, Hemal Watekar, LNP Reddy, DP Vijaykumar, GV Saratbabu, ASK Verma, Manoj Sai (wk), I Raju, Achyut Rao, Ravi Shankar, M Suresh, A Veera Babu.
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