Sachin Baby is in the form of his life and has become the crisis man for Kerala this season, often bailing out the side with obdurate knocks. The left-hander struck a purple patch, scoring 791 runs at an average of 87.82 runs, making him the second leading run-scorer in Ranji Trophy this season after Delhi’s Dhruv Shorey. The former captain also scored three centuries and three fifties; his runs have come when Kerala needed them the most.
As the senior-most player in the squad and in the absence of Sanju Samson, Sachin Baby took up the responsibility and played match-winning and match-saving innings for Kerala. Sachin, who crossed 4,000 runs in Ranji Trophy this season, said he was reaping the benefits of the hard work he did in the off-season.
“If you look at my scores I have been playing consistently well in the last couple of years. But I never had a prolific season like this before. I enjoy taking up the responsibility and I don’t feel any pressure. I have confidence in my game. During the off-season, I went to Bengaluru to train with R.X. Muralidhar for a few days. He said there was nothing wrong with my game and asked me to concentrate on the match preparations. I also did strength training with A.T. Rajamani Prabhu in Chennai. It helped me as I could play long innings without any fatigue. After I failed in the first match against Jharkhand, I was determined to do well and I put a price on my wicket and concentrated on my strengths and the runs flowed,’’ he said.
Sachin considers his unbeaten 139 against Rajasthan at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium as the best knock he played this season. Walking into bat when Kerala lost three quick wickets – a scenario to which he later became quite familiar - Sachin Baby conquered the seaming conditions and blunted a very decent Rajasthan attack to score his first century of the season. “The ball was swinging and Aniket Choudhary was bowling really well. It was challenging to face him. But I started middling the ball well and my confidence grew and I was able to forge a good stand with Sanju. In the second innings, I played a match-saving innings and I carried that form for the rest of the season,’’ he said.