Young Guns and the Stalwart
The young, bold and fearless - thats how one can describe the team of Karnataka this season. They played 6 matches this year winning 4 and getting lead in the other 2, meaning they haven't let any opposition dominate them even once during this season. Contributing handsomely to these victories have been our boys from RCB :coolhmm:
The only RCBians part of the last round of Ranji matches were from Karnataka. Robin Uttappa was at his attacking best as he smashed two half centuries and also led this side to a superb victory over Saurashtra. Manish Pandey too continued his terrific run in this edition of Ranji as he too struck two aggressive half-centuries. S Aravind led the bowling in the absence of an injured Vinay Kumar and returned with a match haul of 7 wickets. Appanna getting his first Ranji game this season, after representing Karnataka in the Under-23 tourney, and Udit Patel too chipped in as Karnataka cut-through Saurashtra in earning their 4th outright victory and garnering the highest number of points(28) for the league phase in this year's Ranji Trophy. With Rahul Dravid and Sunil Joshi set to bolster the squad in the Quarter-finals against Punjab, this Karnataka team is sure gonna be a handful for any oppostion.
The Quarter-final line-up for Ranji Quarter Finals:
Haryana (from Plate league) v Mumbai (defending champions)
Delhi v Tamil Nadu (Group A toppers)
Karnataka (Group B toppers) v Punjab
Assam (from Plate League) v Uttar Pradesh (last season runners-up)
International Round Up
If one makes a list of the best all-rounders in the world in any form of the game in the current era, the man most probably occupying the top spot would be Jacques Henry Kallis. South Africa resorted to giving him Oxygen treatment in order to get him fit for the 1st test, a look at the scorecard and it reveals why he such an important player to SA and of course to RCB :). He scored a typical century 120(225) dropping the anchor and being the cornerstone of SA's total of 418 in the 1st innings. Double Century or no double century he stands tall amongst the best players in the current era and is one of the leading lights of the rapidly diminishing clan of all-rounders.
Another gifted all rounder of a different kind, - a wicket keeping batsmen a clan which is on the rise, Mark Boucher, also contributed sizably to the South African dominance of the first test with a serene 49(100) and a typically belligerent 63*(73). Kevin Pietersen also roared back to form, after a uneventful ODI series, with scores of 40(79) and a match saving 81(143). Virat Kohli made the most of Yuvraj Singh's absence by scoring a strokeful 54(65) in 2nd ODI whereas Praveen Kumar failed to impress on the batting beauties laid out in the series against SL.
Special mention: Rohit Sharma scored a blistering triple century 309* off 322 balls, facing 28 more delivers than what he faced in the whole of 2007-08 season, as he termed it as one of his best innings and starting to live up to the billing of the next big star of Indian middle-order.
I will be back with the story of the Karnataka young brigade as well as covering all the news of our very own RCB stars.