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Bangalore: Riding high on confidence after winning the Ranji Trophy for the seventh time, Karnataka would be looking to add the Irani Cup to their silverware as they take on Rest of India in the traditional five-day match commencing at the Mangalam Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday. Karnataka enjoyed one of their best seasons ever when they chalked up seven outright victories in the just concluded Ranji Trophy and given their all-round form, the hosts begin as the odds-on favourite to beat a side that was merely put together for the Irani game. While the Harbhajan Singh-led Rest of India boasts of a strong line up, Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar would be banking on his in-form mates to pull their weight as the home team seeks to win the Irani Cup for the fifth time after a lapse of 15 years. Despite the obvious advantages of playing in familiar environment and bolstered by the return of allrounder Stuart Binny and paceman H.S. Sharath, Karnataka will still have to reckon with a team that comprises some top performers of the season. Binny missed the Ranji final due to national commitments while Sharath, until then the side's leading wicket-taker, was out of action with a shoulder injury for the last two games, and the return of the duo will certainly add muscle to the Karnataka team that exceeded all expectations despite the collective inexperience. While winning the Irani Cup is a matter of great prestige, the game has much more at stake with India due to tour England this summer for a series of five Tests and as many one-dayers. As such, the Irani Cup offers a final chance for players both on the fringes of national recognition and aiming to come back into the Indian Test squad as there are no more long duration games on the calendar until the tour of England. For the Rest of India players like Harbhajan Singh, opener Gautam Gambhir, Amit Mishra and Dinesh Karthik, it is a matter of regaining their spots in the national team ahead of youngsters such as Punjab's Jiwanjot Singh, who has had a good run as an opening batsman, Tamil Nadu's consistent middle order batsman Baba Aparajith, Maharashtra batting stars Kedar Jadhav and Aniki Bawne and seamers Pankaj Singh and Ashoke Dinda, both among the top wicket takers this season. Similarly, some of the Karnataka players like opener Lokesh Rahul, leg spinner Shreyas Gopal and of course Sharath, too are looking to catch the attention of the national selectors. The match offers a great platform for Vinay Kumar, Robin Uthappa and seamer Abhimanyu Mithun, the side's top wicket takers with a haul of 41, to stake their claim. While the nature of the pitch is a matter of speculation at this moment, the game promises to dish out some quality fare and an exciting finish cannot be ruled out. The teams: Rest of India: Harbhajan Singh (captain), Jiwanjyot Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Baba Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Ankit Bawne, Dinesh Kartik, Amit Mishra, Pankaj Singh, Ashoke Dinda, Varun Aaron, Parvez Rasool, Anureet Singh, Natraj Behera, Mandeep Singh. Karnataka: Vinay Kumar (captain), Robin Uthappa, Lokesh Rahul, Ganesh Satish, Manish Pandey, Stuart Binny, C.M. Gautham, Karun Nair, Shreyas Gopal, Abhimanyu Mithun, Amit Verma, Mayank Agarwal, Sreenath Arvind, H.S. Sharath, Ronit More and Abrar Kazi.

Euro 2016: Joachim Loew to turn to Sami Khedira ahead of Germany's quarter-final clash vs Italy

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Euro 2016: Joachim Loew to turn to Sami Khedira ahead of Germany's quarter-final clash vs Italy

Evian, France: Germany coach Joachim Loew says he will turn to Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira for valuable intel ahead of Saturday's Euro 2016 quarter-final against the Azzurri.Khedira joined the Tu...


England have to regain momentum for clinching ODI series vs Sri Lanka: Eoin Morgan

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England have to regain momentum for clinching ODI series vs Sri Lanka: Eoin Morgan

London: England captain Eoin Morgan wants his side to keep their concentration when they continue their one-day international series against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Wednesday.Morgan's men are 1-0 up ...

Lionel Messi is a gift from God, and we must take care of him: Argentina President

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Lionel Messi is a gift from God, and we must take care of him: Argentina President

Buenos Aires: Argentina's President Mauricio Macri said Tuesday Lionel Messi was "God's gift" to the country and it should take better care of him after he vowed to quit the national...

Wimbledon 2016: Serena Williams, Andy Murray advance to 2nd round; Radek Stepanek eliminated

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Wimbledon 2016: Serena Williams, Andy Murray advance to 2nd round; Radek Stepanek eliminated

London: Defending champion Serena Williams racked up her 80th Wimbledon victory Tuesday while Andy Murray raced through before rain brought action at the All England Club to a soggy halt.World number ...

Rio 2016: Jason Day, Shane Lowry latest golfers to pull out of Olympics over Zika fears

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Rio 2016: Jason Day, Shane Lowry latest golfers to pull out of Olympics over Zika fears

Sydney: Australia's world number one Jason Day and Ireland's Shane Lowry on Tuesday became the latest golfers to withdraw from the Rio Olympics because of fears over the Zika virus."It is wit...

No conflict of interest in being India coach as well as ICC Cricket Committee chief: Anil Kumble

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No conflict of interest in being India coach as well as ICC Cricket Committee chief: Anil Kumble

New Delhi: Newly-appointed Indian cricket team coach Anil Kumble has dismissed reports of conflict of interest between his new job and his involvement in a sports firm as well as heading the ICC Crick...

ISL 2016: Mumbai City FC bolster squad by signing Krisztian Vadocz, Gerson Vieira

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ISL 2016: Mumbai City FC bolster squad by signing Krisztian Vadocz, Gerson Vieira

Mumbai: Indian Super League (ISL) side Mumbai City FC on Wednesdayannounced the signing of Krisztian Vadocz of Hungary and Gerson Vieira of Brazil ahead of the third edition of the tournament this yea...