Ranji Trophy: Robin Uthappa set to play for Kerala

Robin Uthappa will replace K. B. Arun Karthik in Kerala's Ranji Trophy squad for the upcoming season.

With Robin Uthappa in its ranks, Kerala expects to have a better season than last year's semifinal finish.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Robin Uthappa is set to play for Kerala in the forthcoming Ranji Trophy. The India international, who was with Saurashtra for the last couple of years, has decided to move on, top officials in the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) confirmed to Sportstar.

"We have decided to bring him as a professional player and his experience will help us," the official said. While Uthappa will be the new addition, seasoned campaigner Jalaj Saxena will continue as the other professional player. Even coach Dav Whatmore will remain the head coach of the side.

It has been learned that Uthappa will come in place of K. B. Arun Karthick.

Saurashtra Cricket Association officials too have confirmed to this publication that it has issued a No-Objection Certificate to Uthappa.

Last season, Kerala reached the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy, and the officials are hopeful that with senior players like Uthappa joining in, it can have an even better 2019-20 season.

However, Uthappa didn't have a memorable outing last season as he missed the Ranji Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy due to injury. Even though he featured in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20, Uthappa struggled. His poor form continued in the Indian Premier League as well as he could manage to score 282 runs in 12 matches for Kolkata Knight Riders.

After serving Karnataka for a decade and half, Uthappa had moved on a couple of years back. Initially he had offers from Kerala but it did not materialise and later Uthappa joined Saurashtra.