Ranji Trophy 2023-24: Karnataka makes changes to squad following underwhelming performances against Gujarat, Goa

Following two underwhelming Ranji Trophy performances against Gujarat and Goa that fetched just three points, the Karnataka selectors rang in the changes for the games against Tripura (Jan. 26, Agartala) and Railways (Feb.2, Surat), dropping left-arm spinner Shubhang Hegde for 17-year-old Hardik Raj in a like-for-like replacement.

Shubhang picked up just six wickets over three matches and was also suspended from the attack in the first innings against Goa here for bowling two head-high full tosses.

Hardik, a bowling all-rounder, starred in Karnataka’s maiden Cooch Behar (U-19) trophy triumph, picking up 28 wickets from eight games including two five-wicket hauls. He also scored a century in the semifinal win over Tamil Nadu.

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Among other changes, 22-year-old K.V. Aneesh, another uncapped player, will replace the injured Manish Pandey. Top-order bat Aneesh has scored two centuries in two matches in the ongoing Col. CK Nayudu (U-23) Trophy. Left-arm medium pacer Abhilash Shetty, 25, will take the place of the injured Prasidh Krishna.

“We have a very talented U-19 and U-23 bunch and we are not bothered about bench strength,” said J. Abhiram, chairman of selectors. “It’s a transition period for us and we are looking at developing a squad for the next five to six years.”

The squad: Mayank Agarwal (Capt.), R. Samarth, Devdutt Padikkal, Nikin Jose, Sharath Srinivas, V. Vyshak, V. Koushik, K. Shashikumar, Sujay Sateri, D. Nischal, M. Venkatesh, Kishan S. Bedare, Rohit Kumar, Abhilash Shetty, K.V. Aneesh, Hardik Raj.

Source website: sportstar.thehindu.com

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