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November 13, 2012
Features : Too much play, too little time for Ranji Trophy
News : Irfan Pathan injures knee, out for at least one game
News : Ajit Agarkar out of next game with calf injury
Karnataka's two leading fast bowlers, Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun, will miss their next Ranji game with minor injuries. They are being rested as a precautionary measure. Vinay is also the captain of the side. Allrounder Stuart Binny will lead the side in his absence, and young batsman Manish Pandey will be the vice-captain.
This news is a dampener for Karnataka after they fought hard to come back with three points, chasing 539 for a first-innings lead on a rank turner against arch rivals Tamil Nadu in Chennai. J Abhiram, the chairman of Karnataka selectors, said the injuries were not too serious, and were expected to heal in time for the next match. Mithun has a side strain, and Vinay has a hamstring problem. "These are just grade-one injuries," Abhiram told ESPNcricinfo. "But we don't want to risk them so soon and make them worse, which could keep them out for a longer period."
The two join Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth and RP Singh as fast bowlers who have already had injury troubles this Ranji season. Munaf, Sreesanth and RP were injured even before the season began.
Starting with the India A match against the touring English, Vinay has played first-class cricket on 11 of the last 14 days. The numbers are eight out of 11 for Mithun. The precautionary resting is similar to Ajit Agarkar's case, who picked up a niggle in his calf, and said he would have been fit for the next game had he got a five-day break as opposed to the three days the Ranji schedule provides between matches.
SL Akshay, who has played four first-class matches before, and uncapped HS Sharath and K Gowtham were called up as replacements. Karnataka's next match is in Uttar Pradesh on November 17, where they take on a side coached by one of their own, Venkatesh Prasad. Karnataka have registered four points in their first two games.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.