Kerala Cricket simply on a high
Kerala Cricket has been on a high in the 2012-2013 season. A good showing in the Ranji Trophy was followed by an even better showing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and now Kerala are into the super league in the Mushtaq Ali trophy. Players are enthusiastic like never before and hungry for success this season.
Over the years, it has been disappointing to see nothing good happening in Kerala cricket and it was a sad time to be a Kerala cricket fan. This year, things have brightened up. Kerala cricket was known for just 2 players all these years, namely Tinu Yohannan and Sreesanth who did the state of Kerala proud and went on to represent the nation. Tinu Yohannan, though, had his dream cut off. He played 3 ODIs and 3 Tests for India and there ended his stint with the Indian team. Sreesanth had a considerably longer run, playing for India in all three formats of the game and establishing himself as a Test bowler. He won World Cups in 2008 and 2011 and still plays for India.
The way the Kerala team performed, and is performing, this season gives hope that in the coming years many more will represent the country and do the state proud once again. The difference between this team and the earlier teams is the exuberance of youth. Fresh talent has been pumped in this year in the form of Sanju Samson, Sandeep Warrier and Manu Krishnan to name a few, which was not the case in the past years when the positions were held by ageing seniors.
A quick overview of this season for Kerala brings us to four talented players, namely Sandeep Warrier, Manukrishnan, Sachin Baby and V.A. Jagadeesh.
Sandeep Warrier, in his debut season for Kerala in the Ranji trophy, picked up 22 wickets from 5 matches and has been impressive with the ball all this season, consistently clocking delivery speeds of 140-145 kph. He surely has been the find of the season. Sandeep Warrier has also attracted interest from Royal Challengers Bangalore for IPL 6. Virat Kohli is said to have been mightily impressed by this 21-year-old and immediately contacted the RCB authorities to sign the player.
Manukrishnan is another left-arm pace bowler who has been impressive for Kerala during the Ranji trophy. You talk about hunting in pairs and the Warrier-Manu combo has been doing that exactly this season. He has been amongst the wickets and pretty impressive, though he has not been awarded an IPL contract like Sandeep.
V.A. Jagadeesh is someone I would call the Mr.Consistent of the Kerala team. This 29-year-old has been really consistent with the bat and has rescued Kerala most of the times. If it wasn’t for this batsman, the scenario could have been entirely different for Kerala.
Sachin Baby is the hard-hitting batsmen in the team. Sachin didn’t really impress anyone in the Ranji Trophy and was pretty mediocre. The talented batsman was the captain of the recently concluded Vijay Hazare trophy, taking the side to semi-finals. He was prolific in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, scoring runs for the team quickly and leading the side well. He does for the team probably what a Suresh Raina would do for India. Like Raina, Baby is not that successful in the longer version but he comes into his own in the shorter format. Sachin Baby was awarded an IPL contract by Rajasthan Royals, the team where his Kerala team mate Sreesanth plays. After the conclusion of the Vijay Hazare trophy, Sachin Baby has been oozing confidence. In the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy too, he has done well. In the last match against Delhi, he scored a blistering 48 to help Kerala win against Delhi, a team which boasts of Unmukt Chand.
Kerala is also blessed by the news that 7 of its players have been signed by IPL franchises which further shows the impact these guys have had. I don’t know if any other team has these many players playing in the IPL.
The following are the players who have been signed up by various IPL franchises:
- Sachin Baby (Rajasthan Royals)
- Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)
- Sreesanth (Rajasthan Royals)
- Prasanth Parameshwaran (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
- Sandeep Warrier (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
- Prasanth Padmanabhan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
- Raiphy Vincent Gomez (Pune Warriors India)
Kerala has reached the super league of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2012-2013 for the first time in a long time. It is a proud feeling these days, being a Kerala cricket fan. Things are looking good and bright for Kerala it seems. Kerala will improve better next year and hopefully win the Ranji Trophy next time around.