The five-day Irani Cup tie between Ranji champions Karnataka and Rest of India to be played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium from Sunday brings focus on Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir, besides some of the youngsters on either side.
Out of the Indian team for quite some time, the duo gets yet another chance to show all is well with them. With the national selectors down here to watch the match, a good performance will see Gambhir and Harbhajan trying to push their case again.
Harbhajan said, "I don't think about being dropped. Every match gives me an opportunity to get better. That will open the door for me when it comes to the national team. Hopefully, I will have another good game. Rather than listening to what people say, It is better to concentrate on the game. Without thinking what is in store for me, my goal is definitely to back into the Indian team."
No doubt Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar was the cynosure of all eyes. Fresh from the team's thumping victory over Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy final, Vinay wants to keep the momentum going. "No doubt, it is an important match. We are treating it like any other game. It is better to keep it simple so that we can do well,"
The Davanagere lad was also happy that pacer HS Sharath and all-rounder Stuart were back in the squad. When asked if Sharath would be in the playing XI, Vinay said a final call would be taken on the morrow, while refusing to comment further.
"We took a few days off after the Ranji final. Winning this will be a bonus. All the players are eager to perform well because there is a good chance to get noticed."
Bhajji was all praise for Karnataka players. "KL Rahul, Karun Nair and Vinay Kumar have done well. In the semis, they outplayed us. We will be looking forward to playing them again."
Rest of India: Harbhajan Singh (captain), Jiwanjot Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Baba Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Ankit Bawne, Dinesh Kartik, Amit Mishra, Pankaj Singh, Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron, Parvez Rasool, Anureet Singh, Natraj Behera, Mandeep Singh. Karnataka: Vinay Kumar (captain), Robin Uthappa, KL Rahul, Ganesh Satish, Manish Pandey, Stuart Binny, CM Gautham (wicketkeeper), Karun Nair, Shreyas Gopal, Abhimanyu Mithun, Amit Verma, Mayank Agarwal, S Aravind, HS Sharath, Ronit More and Abrar Kazi.