Uthappa to lead Karnataka in Dravid's absence
Karnataka and Mumbai have announced their 15-man squads for the Ranji Trophy final to be held in Mysore from January 11; the only change from the squads for the semi-finals is that the hosts will not have Rahul Dravid. He will be away on international duty in the two-Test series against Bangladesh starting January 17, just two days after the final. Robin Uthappa will take over as captain, and allrounder Balachandra Akhil will step in as replacement.
Dravid scored a double-century in the semi-final against Uttar Pradesh, helping his team gain a decisive first-innings lead which ensured their qualification for the final. Mumbai, too, progressed on the same basis after their contest against Delhi, with Abhishek Nayar starring with 156 and Ramesh Powar taking five wickets.
It will be the first Ranji final since 1996-97 to be held away from the primary venue of the hosting association - the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in this case.
Karnataka squad: Robin Uthappa (capt), KB Pawan, Ganesh Satish, Manish Pandey, R Vinay Kumar, Amit Verma, Muralidharen Gautam (wk), Sunil Joshi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Sreenath Aravind, Stuart Binny, Udit Patel, KP Appanna, Aditya Sagar, B Akhil.
Mumbai squad: Wasim Jaffer (capt), Ajit Agarkar (vice-capt), Ramesh Powar, Praful Waghela, Sahil Kukreja, Ajinkya Rahane, Prashant Naik, Usman Malvi, Vinayak Samant (wk), Dhawal Kulkarni, Sushant Marathe, OJ Khanvilkar, Avishkar Salvi, Iqbal Abdulla, Abhishek Nayar.