Manish Pandey, K Gowtham included in Karnataka squad ahead of Vijay Hazare quarterfinals

In Pandey's absence, Ravikumar Samarth had been leading the state side for the 50-overs tournament.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 2 March 2021 4:10 pm

In a massive boost to Karnataka, senior batsman Manish Pandey and all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham have been included in the squad ahead of Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinals. While Pandey made a recovery from his tennis-elbow injury, Gowtham has been released from the duties as Team India team bowler. Their inclusion in the squad was confirmed by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) on Monday.

The duo replace D Nischal and Shubhang Hegde in the team during the ongoing tournament. In Pandey's absence, Ravikumar Samarth had been leading the state side for the 50-overs tournament. Notably, Karnataka finished at the top of the Elite Group C as they registered four win out of their five matches. With the addition of the key players ahead of the knockouts, they also look as one of the favorites to win the tournament again.

No place for Pandey for India-England white-ball series

Manish Pandey did not find a place in the Indian side for the limited-overs series against England. While Rishabh Pant was recalled into the side, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav manage to get their maiden call-up into the squad. However, Pandey, who had been a regular member of the limited-overs team in the recent past could not make the cut along with Kerala wicketkeeper Sanju Samson. Several cricket experts including Aakash Chopra wondered whether his omission from the squad meant the end of road for him in international cricket.

With him making a comeback for the knockout stages of the Vijay Hazare, a strong performance from Manish can very well get him in the scheme of things ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year. Manish Pandey would also look to make an impact in IPL 2021.

Gowtham becomes highest-paid uncapped Indian in IPL 2021 Auction

Meanwhile, its been quite ride for K Gowtham, who became the highest paid uncapped Indian in the IPL 2021 Auction. Gowtham was snapped by MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings at a whopping Rs 9.25 crore. Interestingly, the 32-year-old off-spinner had a base price of just Rs 20 lakh. In addition, Chennai bought Moeen Ali, Cheteshwar Pujara, Harisankar Reddy, K Bhagath Verma and C. Hari Neeshanth as they look to make a fresh start after a disappointing run in IPL 2020.