Bangalore: Hosts Karnataka will look to garner maximum points by going for a win when they take on Gujarat, currently placed second on points table, in a Group A Ranji Trophy match, starting here on Thursday.
Karnataka walked away with three points courtesy first innings lead against Jharkhand in Mysore and would be banking on KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal to give a good start once again at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here.
Mayank, who missed out on a century on his debut, helped Karnataka take a vital 60-run first innings. He also put on a crucial 99-run partnership for the second wicket with Kunal Kapoor who scored 49.
Manish Pandey, CM Gautam and Ganesh Satish, who batted superbly in the last game, would like to capitalise on the foundation laid by the openers. Pandey and Ganesh scored brilliant half-centuries while Gautam made 42 runs in first innings.
In the bowling department, Karnataka expect a lot from left-arm pacer Srinath Arvind and left-arm orthodox KP Appanna, who bagged five wickets each in the last game.
Karnataka bowling spearhead and captain Vinay Kumar and pacer Abhimanyu Mithun would be raring to go against Gujarat. Allrounder Stuart Binny, who made just two runs and scalped one wicket, would like to put up a better performance.
Buoyed by garnering 10 points after thrashing Vidarbha and ensuring three points by virtue of 25-run first innings lead against a star-studded Delhi, a confident Gujarat will hope for a similar performance to further consolidate their position in the group.
Gujarat, whose bowlers bamboozled Vidarbha and Delhi, will bank on their seamers and spinners to upset the star-filled Karnataka side.