Kerala opener Rohan Kunnummal’s scorching form resulted in his maiden India A call-up on Wednesday for the Test tour to Bangladesh that is scheduled to begin in Cox’s Bazaar on November 29.
With less than a month to go for the IPL (Indian Premier League) 2023 auction, Kunnummal, who has swiftly built his name as an all-format batter for Kerala, attended trials with multiple franchises.
The Kerala opener told Sportstar that he had attended match simulation sessions with Rajasthan Royals (RR), Delhi Capitals (DC) and Kolkata Knight Riders in the lead-up to the mini-auction, which will be held in Kochi on December 23.
Kunnummal said his senior Kerala teammate and Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson had led him to the trials with Rajasthan.
“I had attended trials with Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan and Delhi Capitals. I had received calls for a couple of more trials, but I couldn’t attend them because of our State-team matches. I attended the three sessions during the break between the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy group stage and knockouts.
“Sanju (Samson) bhai had taken a few of us for the trials at Rajasthan. I was able to perform well in the match simulations with RR and DC. Obviously, the selection at the auction isn’t in my hands and I am not thinking about it,” Kunnummal added.
The 24-year-old has had a breakout run in 2022. Kunnummal slammed three centuries in consecutive innings for Kerala in the group stage of the Ranji Trophy 2021-22 season earlier this year. Rohan backed it up with a fourth ton in succession during his Duleep Trophy debut for South Zone in September.
While Kunnummal could only manage 201 runs in eight innings with a solitary fifty in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20s, he bounced back in the group stage of the ongoing 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament. Kunnummal struck his maiden List A century (134 vs Goa) and followed up with an unbeaten 107 off 75 balls against Bihar on Monday as Kerala secured qualification for the pre-quarterfinals. Kunnummal is Kerala’s leading run-scorer in the tournament with 414 runs in seven innings but will miss the knockouts following his India A call-up.
Kerala coach Tinu Yohannan has confirmed that the team will not name a replacement for Kunnummal and will carry the same squad for its pre-quarterfinal clash against Jammu and Kashmir in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
The India A team will play two four-day games against Bangladesh A in Cox’s Bazaar and Sylhet. Senior India players Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav, who are part of India’s Test squad for its two-match series in Bangladesh from mid-December, were also named in the A squad for the second four-day game that will be played from December 6.