Ranji Trophy: It was an important win for us, says Kerala skipper

Kerala coach Dave Whatmore showered praise on senior professional Jalaj Saxena not only for his contributions as an all-rounder but also for mentoring youngsters in the squad.

Kerala's first victory over the former champion took it to 20 points from six matches and to the top of the points tally.   -  special arrangement

Kerala captain Sachin Baby’s poor run with the bat continued but he did his team a huge favour by winning the all-important toss.

The skipper complimented the effort of medium pacers Sandeep Warrier and Basil Thampi who gave his side early breakthroughs and said the win will put the team in good stead in the remaining two away matches.

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"Winning the toss was huge and it is an important win for us. We needed this to stay in contention. We put up a total (320) which was like 500 on a good wicket.

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"Vinoop Manoharan and Jalaj Saxena batted beautifully on the first day. I must say yesterday (Saturday) was one of the best days we had this season. Taking 15 wickets on the second day completely shut them (Delhi) out of the game.

"Sandeep (Warrier) and Basil (Thampi) bowled really well in the second innings when everyone thought it will be the spinners who will get us wickets. Their spell was decisive. They will have a more proactive role when we play away from home in our last two matches, ‘’ he said.

A key contributor

Kerala coach Dave Whatmore showered praise on senior professional Jalaj not only for his contributions as an all-rounder but also for mentoring the youngsters in the squad.

"Jalaj is a key player for us. He has contributed in all the games which we have won. He is a tough cookie and he played the match in a lot of pain. He is very helpful to the youngsters.

"This win is important. I think we have players to cover up for all conditions we are likely to face in the remaining matches. It will be a good challenge for the boys,’’ the coach said.

A team effort

Jalaj underplayed his role and said it was a team effort and complimented Sijomon and medium pacers for supporting him well.

"It is a team effort. Though I picked up wickets it is also because of the pressure exerted by other bowlers from the other end. I am happy that I could contribute to Kerala’s win,’’ he said.