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Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021: Why Is Manish Pandey Not Playing In The Tournament?

Coming into the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021, the Karnataka team will be hoping to complete their hattrick and solidify their hold on the domestic T20 circuit.

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021

Karnataka has a longstanding history of producing high-quality cricketers in India, with the likes of Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, KL Rahul among many others being bred in the state's domestic circuits. With this sort of record, it is no surprise that the Karnataka state team has become a mammoth in the Indian domestic T20 circles of late. In a year that has seen little domestic cricket, the Karnataka team will have the pleasure of boasting a side that has had more match time under its belt than probably any other team. This, courtesy of the association's own inter-club tournaments, as well as some players' presence in the IPL. 

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Manish Pandey set to miss Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021

With two back to back Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy titles to their name, the Karnataka team are hoping to complete their hattrick and solidify their hold on the domestic T20 circuit. They are currently on equal footing with Baroda and Gujarat for the most Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy titles and with the star power in their squad, it seems like they may break away from the pack soon. The biggest issue Karnataka face on the path to a successful title defence is that they will be missing three of their senior-most players - KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and captain Manish Pandey this season. 

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While Rahul and Mayank are away on international duty (Rahul has since been ruled out of the India vs Australia series due to injury), Manish Pandey will not be playing due to an elbow injury he sustained some time ago. Despite this, the team boasts a retinue of stars - including IPL 2020 stars Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Devdutt Padikkal - who are all expected to make a splash at the IPL 2021 series set to be held in a few months' time. The captaincy will be taken over by Indian team veteran Karun Nair, while Pavan Deshpande will be the second in command.

Grouped with tough teams like J&K, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Railways, and Tripura in the Elite A category, Karnataka started off their 2021 season in near-perfect form. The side put together a brilliant 43-run victory over J&K, putting up a total of 150 runs courtesy of a 48* off 31 by Krishnan Shrijith. The highly experienced bowling lineup of Prasidh Krishna (3), Krishnappa Gowtham (2), Jagadeesha Suchith (2) and Abhimanyu Mithun (2) meanwhile, bundled out the opposition for just 107 in 18.4 overs.

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Karnataka squad for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021

Karun Nair (c), Pavan Deshpande (vc), Devdutt Padikkal, Roham Kadam, KV Siddharth, KL Shrijith, BR Sharath, Anirudha Joshi, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jagadeesha Suchith, Pravin Dubey, Abhimanyu Mithun, Prasidh Krishna, Prateek Jain, V Koushik, Ronit More, Darshan MB, Manoj Bhandage, Shubhang Hegde

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Image Credits: Karnataka Cricket Team Instagram


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