New Delhi, PTI. Tamil Nadu team will face the challenge of confident Karnataka in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 cricket tournament here on Monday to defend their title. This year’s final will be similar to the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali final, in which Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by just one run in a thrilling encounter. At the same time, Tamil Nadu won the trophy by defeating Baroda in the final of the 2020-21 stage held earlier this year after a delay.

Tamil Nadu will now look to avenge their defeat in the 2019 final at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Monday to defend their title while Karnataka will also be hoping to win the third trophy. For this, their opener Rohan Kadam will again have to play a big innings, as he played in the semi-final against Vidarbha. Kadam and captain Manish Pandey would like to give their team a quick start by proving weak Tamil Nadu’s strong bowling attack.

The team will also expect its middle-order to continue, which has been consistent with the performances of the players. Karun Nair is unable to collect runs and would like to make his presence felt. In-form Abhinav Manohar, Anirudh Joshi and BR Sharath will need the support of the top order.

However, Karnataka will be more concerned about their bowling attack, especially the fast bowling unit consisting of Vidhyadhar Patil (four wickets), V Vyshak (7 wickets) and MB Darshan (6 wickets). Although the trio is not that experienced, they have done well in tough conditions and have taken the team to the finals. Now they will have to give their best against the strong batting unit of Tamil Nadu.

Karnataka will miss K Gautam (7 wickets), who has been selected for the India A squad. The spin pair of KC Cariappa (10 wickets) and J Suchit (6 wickets) will be crucial for the team’s prospects and their eight overs could have an impact on the result.

At the same time, Tamil Nadu team is in good form in the tournament. The performance of the whole team has been good. Still, a lot will depend on the start given by the pair of N Jagadeesan (163 runs) and C Hari Nishant (177 runs) and how B Sai Sudarshan (173 runs) carry the lead. Captain Vijay Shankar is the highest run-getter of the team. He has 181 runs to his name. He can change the course of the match with his batting and will look to play big innings to help the team retain the title.

Edited By: Vikash Gaur