India’s batting superstars in the recently concluded Chennai Test – Karun Nair and KL Rahul – were both dismissed cheaply as Karnataka were bowled out for 88 against traditional rivals Tamil Nadu in their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
The ACA-VDCA ground wicket has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons this season. The problems first surfaced when the Assam versus Rajasthan match in mid-October got over in three days. The third day saw 17 wickets fall, with the ball occasionally keeping as low as ankle high, according to Assam’s coach Sunil Joshi.
Visakhapatnam did host the fifth ODI between India and New Zealand at the end of October but the match went ahead only after BCCI had conducted a pitch inspection and ensured the wicket wasn’t underprepared. Even then, chasing 270, the Kiwis were all out for 79 in 23.1 overs.
Earlier this week, Karun Nair became the second Indian batsman to score a triple century in Test cricket and his knock of 303* against England in Chennai earned him a lot of praise from experts like Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly.
However, it was a completely different story on Friday as he could only manage to score 14 off 55 balls before he was caught behind off Tamil Nadu medium pacer Aswin Crist.
Similarly, KL Rahul, who scored a brilliant 199 against England in Chennai, was also unable to continue his fine form as he was dismissed by T Natarajan for 4.
It was a terrible batting display by Karnataka as they were unable to create any significant partnership and Manish Pandey was the top scorer with 28 runs. The 22-year old right-arm medium-pacer Aswin Crist was the wreaker-in-chief for Tamil Nadu as he picked up 6 wickets for 31 runs in his 13.1 overs.
In reply, Tamil Nadu ended the day on 111/3, a lead of 23 runs. Dinesh Karthik was batting well on 23* while Sreenath Aravind took 2/14.