The Southern Derby featuring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is always one of the most keenly awaited clashes on the domestic calendar irrespective of the format.
In the white-ball format, the two sides have met quite a few times in recent times, including three finals in the last two years.
In the 2019-20 season, Karnataka had beaten TN in the finals of both the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. However, earlier last month, TN pulled off a sensational win against Karnataka with a last-ball six from M. Shahrukh Khan and clinched its second T20 title in as many years.
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The two sides will clash once again, this time in the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Jaipur on Tuesday.
The sides met in the group stages of this competition in Thiruvananthapuram earlier this month where TN coasted to an easy eight-wicket win after bowling out Karnataka for just 122 led by its spinners.
However, the conditions here are diametrically opposite to the one the teams got in the league stages.
While TN reached the last eight directly, Karnataka had to beat Rajasthan in the pre-quarters which they did comprehensively on Sunday. In a way, the game time at the K.L. Saini Stadium – where the two teams will clash on Tuesday – will give Karnataka the edge in terms of knowledge of conditions.
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The one change for TN will be the return of B. Aparajith, who missed the league stages due to India ‘A’ duties. He possesses a solid technique and would have to play a vital role as an opener to see off the new ball against the likes of pacers V Vyshak and Prasidh Krishna. TN lost its last two matches in the league stage and the team will be hoping to get back on track on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of the match, TN coach M. Venkatramana said, “an area we need to improve is to be more consistent with our bowling. Similarly, one batsman needs to play long innings and score a hundred so that others can bat around.”