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Punjab ready for Karnataka pacers

Punjab need to make the most of their only home game this season. They face last year's runners-up Karnataka at the PCA Stadium here. Ashutosh Sharma reports.

cricket Updated: Nov 10, 2010 01:00 IST
Ashutosh Sharma

Punjab need to make the most of their only home game this season. They face last year's runners-up Karnataka at the PCA Stadium here.

Having survived in the opener against Uttar Pradesh, thanks to a heroic century by skipper Pankaj Dharmani, Punjab will be keen to make amends.

Karnataka, on their part, would like to start their season with a win.

The hosts seem to have an edge with their batting bolstered by Yuvraj Singh, who is trying hard to make a comeback to the Test squad.

Karnataka's successful run last year was largely due to their youngsters, who stood up when it mattered.

Their new ball pair, of Abhimanyu Mithun and R Vinay Kumar, has grown leaps and bounds since last season. Both have represented India in the interim and can test the home batsmen on a seamer-friendly track here.

Despite this, Pankaj Dharmani looked optimistic and counted on home advantage.

"Karnataka's strength lies in its bowling. But we have the batsmen who can perform well in conditions that assist fast bowling. It is going to be a tough contest but I think they might miss the experience of Rahul Dravid," he said.

The visitors might have to rely on youngsters once again.