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Karnataka, TN set for quarter-final showdown

The inclusion of Test players will raise the profile of the Ranji Trophy knockout fixtures Associated Press

M Vijay and R Ashwin were named in Tamil Nadu's 16-man squad for their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Karnataka in Visakhapatnam. Also, Parthiv Patel is likely to play for Gujarat, who play Odisha in Jaipur.* It is understood two other sides - Karnataka and Haryana - are also likely to pick Test players for the knockouts, which have been advanced by a day and will now begin from December 23.

Defending champions Mumbai will play Hyderabad, who are in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011-12, in Raipur. Jharkhand, the Group B toppers and one of only two teams in the league stages to have five wins, will play Haryana in Baroda.

The two semi-finals were also advanced by two days, starting from January 1 in Rajkot and Nagpur, and the final, earlier scheduled for January 12, will be played from January 10 in Indore.

It is understood the BCCI rejigged the schedule to ensure better breaks between each stage of the knockouts. "We have to adjust the calendar for the right gaps," a BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo. "The older schedule was the way it was because of the rescheduled matches. This one works better."

The delay in the announcement of the knockout clashes was a result of the postponement of a fixture between Odisha and Jharkhand, which determined the top team in Group B. The match was originally scheduled to be held in Dindigul along with the other ninth-round matches from December 7. However, the game was rescheduled to December 15 in Thiruvananthapuram following the death of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

*14.40GMT, December 18: This story has been updated to reflect the latest squad announcements.