GUWAHATI, Sept 30 - Assam will start their Ranji Trophy campaign against defending championship Karnataka from tomorrow at the Barsapara stadium here.
It will be Assam�s 248th Ranji match and the host team is in a positive mind set against their fancied opponent.
Assam captain Gakul Sharma said, they had been able to draw the quarterfinal match against Karnataka last year and that will be the major boost for his team. The skipper said last year Assam was the only team to draw a Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka.
He further revealed that all the Assam players are in good nick and raring to go in the opening match. Gokul said the Assam batsmen Pallav Das, Tarjinder Singh, Amit Verma, Sib Sankar Roy, Sarupam Purkayastha, Syed Mohammad, himself are all in good touch and hoped for a big total.
Gokul, however, said from the second day onwards the wicket may take reasonable turn and for that all the batsmen have to be mentally prepared.
He said, Karnataka is an experienced team led by seasoned R Vinay Kumar. With batsmen like Mayank Agarwal, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair they may put up a stiff challenge for the Assam bowlers. But Assam bowlers like-Arup Das, Krishna Das, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Syed Mohammad, all rounders Sarupam, Tarjinder, Sib Sankar, Amit Verma are capable to hit back.
Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar said, all the Group A teams in the Ranji Trophy are almost equal. On home turf Assam would be definitely a challenging side. �We are taking Assam seriously and ready to put our best effort in order to garner maximum points�, Vinay said.
Meanwhile, Mayank Agarwal, who played a vital role in giving Board President XI�s victory against South Africa in the T20 warm up at Delhi yesterday, arrived here today and his name has been included in the 12-member squad.
Prakash Bhatta has been appointed as the match referee for this match while Nitin Pandit (Vidarbh) and Rajesh Despande (Mumbai) will officiate the match as umpires.
The match will start at 8.45 am.