R Vinay Kumar will lead Karnataka’s side against Punjab in the semi-final © Getty Images
Bangalore: Jan 14, 2014
Karnataka pacer HS Sharath and top-order batsman Ravikumar Samarth have been ruled out of the squad for the Ranji Trophy semifinal match against Punjab in Mohali due to injury concerns.
Both players sustained injuries on the second day of the quarterfinal match against Uttar Pradesh (UP) here on January 9. They sustained injuries while fielding.
Samarth batting at No 9 in the second innings, but Sharath did not take the field. Despite Sharath’s absence, Karnataka went on to register their sixth outright victory by thrashing UP by 92 runs.
Mayank Agarwal and Srinath Aravind have come in place of Sharath and Samarth. Agarwal, who has 380 runs under his belt, will be a good foil to Robin Uthappa, who had smashed a brilliant century in the comeback match against UP.
The loss of Samarth, who has had a poor run by scoring a paltry 132 runs from three matches, would not be felt by captain R Vinay Kumar. However, Vinay would be worried about Sharath’s absence since had been the second-highest wicket-taker for Karnataka after Abhimanyu Mithun, who has 36 wickets in eight matches.
Either Aravind or Ronit More stand good chance to make it into the playing XI. More has bagged 11 wickets from two matches, with 5 for 20 against Haryana in Lahli being his best bowling figues this season.
Vinay Kumar (c), Robin Uthappa, Lokesh Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey Karun Nair, C M Gautam (wk), Shreyas Gopal, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ronit More, Abrar Kazi, K P Appanna, Ganesh Satish, Amit Verma, S Aravind.
Chief Coach: J Arun Kumar; Bowling Coach: Mansur Ali Khan