Ranji Titans clash
RCB fans can wake up to an exciting clash, Karnataka Vs Mumbai, Ranji Trophy group match Thursday, 17th November 2011.
Who are arch rivals? Famous examples are India-Pakistan, England-Australia and when we discuss domestic cricket in India, historically Karnataka-Tamil Nadu, Mumbai-Delhi and others. But wait, there is a twist to this in recent times. Karnataka assumed a strong position in Indian cricket in the 1990s when they bagged three Ranji Trophy crowns, challenging the hegemony of Mumbai. Who else then would be their big rivals although of course some gentlemen from the presidency era (prior to Indian independence) believe Karnataka-Tamil Nadu is bigger. Used to be called Mysore-Madras of course, in reference to the provinces and subsequently the states so named!
However, Karnataka kick off with hosts Mumbai at the Cricket Club of Indian, the oft referenced headquarters of Indian cricket on Thursday, 17th November in what must be much sought after viewing. Probably the last climactic time these two sides met, in the Ranji Trophy final two seasons ago, Karnataka narrowly lost by five runs, at Mysore. This will be fresh in the minds of the Karnataka boys as they head out for revenge.
The rivalry between the IPL cricket franchises of these two sides is also no less. While Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated the Mumbai Indians in the IPL semi finals this year at Chennai, they lost to them in the Champions Trophy finals at the same venue. This too will have Karnataka smarting for getting the score one up.
The Ranji Trophy championships of last year almost veered to a repeat final but Karnataka were undone by a tacky pitch at their hosts Baroda’s venue in the semi finals whereas Mumbai lost out to Rajasthan under almost an identical situation against Rajasthan at the same stage of the tournament. That reminded us of the 1987 World Cup when favourites India and Pakistan lost their semi-finals to England and Australia, another titans clash, but who in the oriental world was interested in the final under such situations!
Thursday therefore has a lot of significance for these arch rivals. Royal Challengers Bangalore fans must follow up the news if not watch the match, depending on whether it is telecast on TV; scores of Ranji tournament matches start on the same date.
In the Karnataka Ranji squad, from the RCB unit of recent are S Aravind, A Mithun and wicket-keeper CM Gautham. It’ll be a fresh treat and that too over four days from Thursday to Sunday to watch them play in whites. Good luck Karnataka and may the best team win.