Sachin Baby retained Kerala captain

Vinoop S. Manoharan is the lone new face in the 15-member squad finalised by the KCA senior selection committee.

Kerala captain Sachin Baby at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium, Surat.   -  P.K. AJITH KUMAR

Sachin Baby, who led Kerala to the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals for the first time last season, has been retained skipper of the side, which includes Vinoop S. Manoharan – the lone new
face in the 15-member squad.

The team finalised by the KCA senior selection committee with Sunil Kumar on the chair here on Sunday has a major omission in wicket-keeper-batsman Mohammed Azharuddin, who was one of the 13 signatories in the open rebellion against Sachin Baby in August this
year and penalised by the KCA along with the rest. Vishnu Vinod will replace him behind the stumps.

READ: Sikkim may rope in guest players for Ranji Trophy

Missing from last year’s squad are also pace bowler K.M. Asif and left-arm spinner, Sijomon Joseph, who is tipped to take over as captain of the under-23 State side, while V. A. Jagadeesh makes a comeback after not being included last year.

The side, which is drawn in Group A of the championships in the first round, is made of a combination of seven batsmen, four medium pacers and an equal number of spinners of which one is Jalaj Saxena who was one of the mainstay in Kerala’s campaign last year. Arun Karthick will be the second outstation player in the side besides Saxena.

Dav Whatmore will once again be the head coach of the side with Sebastian Antony and Mazhar Moidu assisting him.

Kerala will open its campaign this year, playing against Hyderabad here from November 1 to 4.
 

The team:

Sachin Baby (captain), Sanju V. Samson, Rohan Prem, V.A. Jagadeesh,
Salman Nizar, Arun Karthick, Jalaj Saxena, Vishnu Vnod, K.C. Akshay,
Akshay Chandran, Sandeep Warrier, Basil Thampi, M.D. Nideesh, P. Rahul
and Vinoop S. Manoharan.


Fixtures:

vs Hyderabad – Thiruvananthapuram – November 1 to 4;

vs Andhra – Thiruvananthapuram – November 12 to 15;

vs Bengal – Kolkata – November 20 to 23;

vs Madhya Pradesh – Thiruvananthapuram – November 28 to December 1;

vs Tamil Nadu – Away – December 6 to 9;

vs Delhi – Thiruvananthapuram – December 14 to 17;

vs Punjab – Away – December 30 to January 2, 2019;

vs Himachal Pradesh – Away – January 7 to 10.