Dravid keen to prove critics wrong as Karnataka take on Mumbai

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Mumbai, Nov 2 (UNI) Defending champions Mumbai will have a lot on their hands as they take on Karnataka which has in its ranks one of India's premier batsman in Rahul Dravid in the opening Elite Division Group 'A' Ranji Trophy match at the Wankhede stadium beginning tomorrow.

Dravid, dropped unceremoniously from the first two one-dayers against Pakistan due to his lack of form, will have a great chance to rediscover his touch and prove his detractors wrong by piling up a huge score.

Karnataka will be led by another stalwart in Anil Kumble which has given their team a look of class against the powerhouse of Indian cricket, Mumbai, in the four-day league tie.

The first class game at the Wankhede Stadium is the ideal stage for Dravid, who had a lean time with the bat in the seven-match ODI series against Australia which concluded on October 17, to get among the runs ahead of the tough battles awaiting the Indian team in the season, including the three-Test rubber against Pakistan which follows after the conclusion of the ODI series.

The last time Dravid had turned out for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy was at Rajkot for last season's league clash against Saurashtra.

Also keen to get into the groove for the Test series along with Dravid would be Kumble, who would be playing his first Ranji tie for Karnataka in two seasons and his opening competitive long-duration tie after returning home from England at the end of the Test series in August.

The visitors would be banking a lot on this duo, as well as on another seasoned and ex-India campaigner Sunil Joshi, with back-up from the younger lot to get off to a good start against Mumbai.

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