Kerala hasn’t qualified for the knock-out stage of the Ranji Trophy since playing the semifinals, for the first time ever, in 2018-19.
One of the main aims of M. Venkataramana, who was appointed on Tuesday as Kerala’s head coach, is to realise the team’s full potential in red-ball cricket.
“I believe there is plenty of talent in Kerala cricket,” Venkataramana, former India and Tamil Nadu off-spinner told Sportstar over phone.
“Kerala has qualified for the knock-out stage of the Ranji Trophy in the recent past, and I think the team could do it yet again.”
He takes over from former India pacer Tinu Yohannan, under whom Kerala did fairly well in white-ball tournaments.
“Yes, Kerala’s performance has been in good in limited-overs cricket and I am sure it could be replicated in the Ranji Trophy as well,” said Venkataramana, whose coaching assignments in the past include Tamil Nadu and South Zone (Duleep Trophy).
“With senior players like Jalaj Saxena and Sachin Baby, both of whom did very well last season, Kerala has the resources to form a solid side for First-Class cricket. I am also looking forward to working with young talents like Rohan Kunnummal,” he added.
He said Kerala cricket had come a long way since his playing days with Tamil Nadu.
“I would say the main reason for that is the improvement Kerala has made in the infrastructure and the exposure players have had playing outside Kerala, in places like Chennai,” he said. “I know most of the Kerala players and I am impressed with them.”
Taking Kerala to the knock-outs of the Ranji Trophy would be one of his main aims, he said.
“I also want to improve the feeder system of Kerala cricket,” he added.
“I am really looking forward to coaching the Kerala team. It is going to be a challenge that I want to enjoy. I hope to join the team by the end of the month.”
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