Sachin Baby Appointed as Kerala Skipper: The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has named Sachin Baby as the skipper of the state side that will play in the Ranji Trophy this season. Vishnu Vinod has been named his deputy.
Sanju Samson, who led Kerala in both Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and Vijay Hazare’s one-day tournaments, has been absolved of the responsibilities of captaining the side.
Sachin, who was replaced by Jalaj Saxena as Kerala captain midway through the 2019-20 Ranji season after the team’s poor performance, is now making a return to the helm after being Sanju’s deputy in the white-ball format this season.
Sachin Baby Appointed as Kerala Skipper
Though it appears that the captaincy of the Kerala team has now become a game of musical chairs, the KCA maintains that they have had different captains for different formats in the previous years as well.
“We have always believed in horses for courses policy. We thought Sanju was the ideal candidate to lead the team in white-ball cricket and we entrusted him with the responsibility for two tournaments. In the longer version, Sachin Baby has the experience and the tactical acumen to do a good job and so we felt it was better to name him as captain for the upcoming Ranji season,” said KCA secretary Sreejith V Nair.
Sanju, who captained Rajasthan Royals in the IPL last season, was hailed by their director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara as their long-term leader after he was retained by the franchise for next year.
However, there are indications that some members in the KCA felt that Sanju needs to show more responsibility while leading the Kerala side. They also feel that a break from responsibilities at this juncture would help the 27-year-old return to his best as a batsman,
Sreesanth returns to red-ball format
The Ranji Trophy problems that have been announced by the KCA see the return of former India pacer S Sreesanth returning to red-ball cricket after a gap of nine years. Sreesanth had played for Kerala in white-ball cricket last year after returning from his ban but had missed the start of this domestic season due to personal commitments.
Kerala’s U-19 captain Varun Nayanar, Anand Krishnan, Fanoos F, and Arun M are the new faces in the squad that will assemble for a camp at Krishnagiri Stadium in Wayanad on Thursday.
The notable omission from the Kerala squad is that of wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen. Kerala is placed in Elite Group B in Ranji Trophy along with Vidarbha, Bengal, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Tripura.
They will play all their matches in a bio-bubble in Bengaluru and will get their campaign underway against Vidarbha on January 13.
Sachin Baby (Cap), Vishnu Vinod (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Anand Krishnan, Rohan Kunnumal, Vathsal Govind, Rahul P, Salman Nizar, Sanju Samson, Jalaj Saxena, Sijomon Jopseph, Akshay K C, Mithun S, Basil N P, Nideesh M D, Manu Krishnan, Basil Thampi, Fanoos F, Sreesanth S, Akshay Chandran, Varun Nayanar (wicketkeeper), Anand Jospeh, Vinoop Manoharan, Arun M and Vaishak Chandran