Mohali: A treacherous journey from Delhi to Mohali with grey skies, fog and biting cold weather for a reception party, Karnataka’s run-up to their Ranji Trophy semifinals encounter against Punjab, has been anything but exciting.
As the two teams trudged into practice at the PCA stadium here on Friday, it was evident that the visitors needed the extra armour to fight the crunch battle away from home.
The warmers were out in full gear with jackets, skull caps, gloves to go with flasks of steaming hot tea, but even as R. Vinay Kumar and his men fought to stay warm, the intensity and focus was not lost.
On the other side of the nets, Harbhajan Singh and his men too were a confident lot, playing in their backyard and hoping to book their final berth, on the strength of their performance at home.
While Punjab go into the contest with the advantage of home conditions, Karnataka are a formidable opponent. The visitors come into the contest on the strength of having won their last six matches and their players in top form.
Given the prevailing conditions, Karnataka will look to go into the match with an extra batsman and it could be a toss up between Ganesh Satish and Amit Verma, last edition’s star performer, who is yet to start in the ongoing season.
This would mean that an extra bowler, a spinner at that, an option between KP Appanna and Abrar Kazi would have to sit out of the match.
The visiting team’s batting looks set with most of their top order in the thick of form....