Opportunity for the young people of Kerala to impress.

KOCHI: For a long time, Kerala was one of the favorite boys of the domestics. Cricket . At the beginning of the decade, the Kerala team began producing one or two impressive results in a season and began to be labeled as dark horses. But the entry of Dav Whatmore as coach of the Kerala team before the 2017-18 national season has helped the team to get rid of the labels associated with it. In the two years at the helm, Whatmore led Kerala to the quarterfinals and semifinals of the main national tournament in India, the Ranji Trophy.

When Kerala begins his preparations for another long exhausting national season with the Captain Thimmaiah Memorial KSCA Trophy tournament at Alur in Karnataka on Wednesday, the Sachin Baby-led side is now being considered as one of the heavyweights of domestic Cricket .

This year's Ranji Trophy has been delayed until December, but Kerala's preparations for the national season begin on Wednesday with a match against the Bengal Cricket Association. The tournament run by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) is a field to test the waters, since most of the great players in the national circuit, as well as an invitational part of Bangladesh, participate at the tournament.

Although Whatmore spent a few days with the team at the preparatory camp in Krishnagiri, Wayanad will not be with the team for the KSCA trophy since his contract with KCA begins in August of each year. Also would give a chance to the KSCA trophy would be some of the top professionals of the state team Sanju Samson, Sandeep Warrier, Basil Thampi, Jalaj Saxena. Robin Uthappa, who last month replaced Arun Karthick as the second professional guest player, is expected to be available for the second game against KSCA XI.

In Whatmore’s absence, two former Kerala Cricket ers Sony Cheruvathur and M Rajagopal will be in charge of the team in Bengaluru. Sony, who was a lion-hearted performer for the state team during his playing days, thinks there is a marked difference in the attitude of players he is coaching now from the one played almost six seasons ago. “I think the players have a winning mentality now. Not that it was not there when I played, but the current set of players sound realistic when they talk about winning matches and tournaments. Guys like Sachin, Sanju, Basil, Sandeep have been part of IPL and has a lot of domestic experience. They are rubbing on their experience to the youngsters. That is helping the team. Though some of the seniors are missing this tournament, it gives players on the fringes a chance to showcase their potential,” said Sony.

Although the leader Anand Joseph de Idukki is the only newcomer to the team, the team is full of exciting talents such as Vathsal Govind, Salman Nizar, Rohan Kunnumal and KM Asif. And they would be looking to make a mark in this tournament.

The new national calendar for the 2019-20 season will make Vijay Hazare's day players play first, followed by Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s and Ranji Trophy. Although the Kerala team did extremely well in the Ranji Trophy over the past two seasons, their performance in limited limited has diminished. And Sony sees an opportunity to correct the course. I think these guys are aware that their performance in limited shots has not been too late to reach the goal. They are talking about it and are looking for ways to improve their performance in shorter formats. That is a good sign, Sony added.

Although the KSCA trophy is a multi-day tournament, it will give team management the position of the players in the fringe. And a good tournament for young people would only be a good option for Kerala before the long sinuous domestic season.

KCA XI schedule

KCA XI vs. Cricket Association of Bengal - July 10

KCA XI vs KSCA XI - July 16

KCA XI vs HPCA - July 22