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Syed Mushtaq Ali: Tamil Nadu Look to Avenge Vijay Hazare Defeat in Final Against Karnataka

A little over a month ago, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu met in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, with the former winning comfortably to become champions. On Sunday (December 1), the two south Indian states will once again meet in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Cricketnext Staff |November 30, 2019, 5:28 PM IST
Syed Mushtaq Ali: Tamil Nadu Look to Avenge Vijay Hazare Defeat in Final Against Karnataka

A little over a month ago, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu met in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, with the former winning comfortably to become champions. On Sunday (December 1), the two south Indian states will once again meet in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Once again, it's Karnataka who are favourites to defend the title they won earlier this year. They had defeated Tamil Nadu in the Super League stage of the tournament recently too, and have a clear edge.

The match is likely to be a clash of Karnataka's in-form batting with Tamil Nadu's bowling, mainly the spin attack. The way both sides won their respective semifinals show their strengths; Karnataka chased down 195 against Haryana in just 15 overs, showcasing their batting power. Tamil Nadu restricted Rajasthan to just 112 for 9 for a win set up by the bowlers.

Karnataka's charge has been led by their openers, Devdutt Padikkal and KL Rahul. Padikkal has impressed one and all this domestic season. He was the highest run-scorer in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and is leading the charts in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy too, with 548 runs from 11 innings at a strike rate of 178.5. His 42-ball 87 and Rahul's 31-ball 66 in the semifinal will keep Karnataka confident going into the title clash.

Karnataka's batting beyond the openers is strong too, for they have Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey and Karun Nair apart from a useful lower order hitter in K Gowtham. The middle order has not been tested as much thanks to the openers' form, which is possibly an opportunity for Tamil Nadu.

Karnataka's bowling has been led by Shreyas Gopal, who has 18 wickets from 11 games. Abhimanyu Mithun, who picked five wickets in an over in the semifinal, will once again look to do the job leading the pace unit.

Tamil Nadu will rely on the spinners to get them deep into the Karnataka order. They have enjoyed bowling on spin friendly wickets in Surat, with Sai Kishore leading the wickets tally (20 wickets at economy of 4.63). Fellow left-arm spinner M Siddharth came into the squad only at the Super League stage as a replacement for the injured M Vijay and has grabbed his opportunity, picking up 12 wickets from just four games.

Washington Sundar has been in form too, both with ball and bat. TN's spin attack seems endless with R Ashwin joining them for the semifinal. They've got M Ashwin too, making it a four-spin attack. Medium pacers T Natarajan and Vijay Shankar have provided good support to the spinners when needed.

Tamil Nadu's batting lacks depth in comparison. Washington has been in fine form, as has been captain Dinesh Karthik. Hari Nishant and Shahrukh Khan have played the odd good knock, while Vijay Shankar has provided finishes.

Tamil Nadu sprung a surprise by opening with R Ashwin with the bat in the semifinal against Rajasthan. Ashwin struggled for momentum in a 33-ball 31, and it remains to be seen if TN stick with the same approach.

The pitch at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium in Surat is expected to be batsman-friendly, which could set up a cracking final to an entertaining tournament.

Squads:

Tamil Nadu: Hari Nishanth, Shahrukh Khan, Washington Sundar, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Baba Aparajith, Vijay Shankar, M Siddharth, Jagatheesan Kousik, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Murugan Ashwin, T Natarajan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Murali Vijay, M Mohammed, Krishnamoorthy Vignesh, N Jagadeesan, G Periyaswamy.

Karnataka: Lokesh Rahul(w), Devdutt Padikkal, Manish Pandey(c), Karun Nair, Rohan Kadam, Mayank Agarwal, Pavan Deshpande, Krishnappa Gowtham, Praveen Dubey, Abhimanyu Mithun, Shreyas Gopal, Ronit More, Aniruddha Joshi, Ravikumar Samarth, Jagadeesha Suchith, V Koushik, Prateek Jain, Nihal Ullal, Luvnith Sisodia

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