Rohan Prem relishes the challenge of captaincy

Kerala's new skipper Rohan Prem is upbeat about leading his team in the upcoming Ranji Trophy.

Rohan Prem Kerala

Rohan Prem is looking forward to lead Kerala in the upcoming Ranji Trophy.   -  Stan Rayan

For more than a decade, he shouldered the burden of his team’s batting. He's just a few hundred runs away from being the highest run-scorer for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy. When the team's in trouble, nothing reassures its fans than the sight of Rohan Prem walking to the middle. He has helped his team wriggle out on many occasions in the past.

This season, Rohan has been given the responsibility of leading the Ranji Trophy team. The 30-year-old is not new to the job as he has stood in as skipper for Sreesanth and Sony Cheruvathur when they were unavailable. Rohan, hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, is thrilled to be named as the Kerala captain for the current season.

"Captaincy is not new to me. I have led Kerala in five matches but it is the first time that I have been made the captain at the start of the season. I look this as an opportunity to perform. It is challenging no doubt but I relish challenges. My aim will be to give players confidence and get the best out of them," he said.

"We have a balanced team this season. The three guest stars – Iqbal Abdullah, Jalaj Saxena and Bhavin Thakkar – are pretty experienced and have increased the depth in our batting. We have quality spinners and pacers in our team. The batting this time looks solid.

"Last season, I think we failed to convert our chances and finish off matches. But this time around I feel we have players capable of finishing the matches. Hopefully If things fall in place I think we can go places this season," he added.

Kerala, because of the new format, will be playing all its matches in neutral venues hasn’t worried Rohan a wee bit. "We have played in some of the venues in the past and I think last season the team did well in our away matches. Every season we play four matches away from home and additional four matches will not be an issue. Moreover, the conditions will be the same for both teams. I think the team is good enough to cope up with the conditions," he said.

"Personally it was a good season for me but overall we fell short," Rohan said of the last season, "I was disappointed as we came pretty close to qualifying. We should have won against Hyderabad. The win would have enabled us to qualify. In the match which we lost against Jharkhand we took the first innings lead. We failed to grab the chances last season. We will be looking not to repeat the mistakes of last season again."