A file photo of Gautam Gambhir (Getty Images).
Kolkata: Bolstered by the return of veteran India internationals Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma, an in-form Delhi will look to negate the Karnataka threat in a Ranji Trophy encounter at the Eden Gardens.
An outright win against Assam (Delhi won by an innings and 83 runs) followed by a draw in the epoch-making tie against Maharashtra where Swapnil Gugale and Ankit Bawne stitched the highest unbeaten partnership of 594 in Ranji Trophy history, has helped the capital side to second position in Group B with seven points from two outings.
Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant is in superb form scoring a triple century (308) in the last game after his 146 in the first match making him the top scorer with 454 runs. Besides the promising 19-year-old, middle-order batsman Nitish Rana is also playing well.
Karnataka on the other hand have played a match less, managing to garner only one point against Varun Aaron-led Jharkhand in Noida. While copybook opener Ravikumar Samarth's double ton (235) in the first essay was the highlight for the 2014-15 and 2013-14 winners, their strong bowling unit led by captain R. Vinay Kumar also put up a good show.
"Every day the first session is very important. We will look to win the first session building good partnerships. If we don't get runs we have good enough bowlers to do the job," India Test squad member Karun Nair told reporters.
Karnataka, for the record, have won the Ranji Trophy eight times while Delhi have one less title, bagging the coveted domestic crown the last time in 2007-2008.