Bengaluru, February 26: Bengal named an unchanged squad for their Ranji Trophy semifinal against Karnataka, who welcome India opener KL Rahul back for the match which is scheduled to take place at Eden Gardens from Saturday (February 29).
Pacer Akash Deep, who had to sit out against Odisha in the quarterfinal because of a niggle, is back in the squad as he is likely to make a comeback.
Bengal stormed into the Ranji Trophy semifinal by virtue of their first innings lead over Odisha in Cuttack. The two-time former champions Bengal last made the Ranji semifinals in 2017-18 only to go down to Delhi.
Karnataka, who thrashed Jammu and Kashmir in their quarterfinal, will be bolstered by the return of Rahul, who was rested in the quarter-final match but is now available for the crucial stages of the Ranji Trophy.
Rahul, who comes into the squad with superb form, will join the likes of Manish Pandey and Karun Nair in the Karnataka suqad.
Meanwhile, the Cricket Association of Bengal president Avishek Dalmiya on Tuesday (February 25) urged first and second division clubs, district teams and school level cricketers to send their players to come and support Bengal during their Ranji Trophy semifinal.
"We have urged the first and second division clubs to send their players to watch the match. We have also asked the district teams to send the players as also school level cricketers and coaching centres affiliated with us. We want everyone to come and support our team," Avishek said.
Bengal Squad: Abhimanyu Easwaran (captain), Manoj Tiwary, Anustup Majumder, Shreevats Goswami (wicketkeeper), Sudip Chatterjee, Abishek Raman, Koushik Ghosh, Arnab Nandi, Shahbaz Ahmed, Agniv Pan, Ishan Porel, Shreyan Chakraborty, Nilkantha Das, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep and Golam Mustafa.
Karnataka Squad: Karun Nair (captain), Ravikumar Samarth, Devdutt Padikkal, Manish Pandey, K.L. Rahul, Sharath Srinivas, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Abhimanyu Mithun, K.V. Siddharth, Prasidh Krishna, J. Suchith, Prateek Jain, Ronit More, B.R. Sharath.
The five-day match starts on Friday (February 29) at 9.30 AM IST.
(With PTI inputs)