“This is the best season I’ve had with the Kerala team”

sachin baby
sachin baby

Sachin Baby made his debut for Kerala against Andhra on November 3, 2009 during a Ranji Trophy encounter. He has represented Kerala in all three formats since his debut in 2009. The 33-year-old player scored his first century against Hyderbad in December 2014.

In total, Sachin Baby has played 75 First Class, 84 List A and 88 T20 games for the Kerala side. The Indian batsman has hit 3536, 2842 and 1671 runs in all three formats respectively. He also led his side from the front in the recently concluded Indian season.

FirstSportz caught up with Sachin Baby for an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts from the interview with Sachin Baby:

Excerpts from the interview with Sachin Baby

sachin baby
sachin baby

Q. Kerala team recently played in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Ranji Trophy. The team did fairly well in all three formats. However, at the Ranji Trophy, the team failed to qualify for the knockout stages due to the NRR. The team would have been unhappy and quite sad. How did you boost their morale?

I said this is my 10th year. Probably my 11th year with the Kerala team. This is the best season I’ve had with the Kerala team because we had a very good squad. We had a nice mix of older and younger players in the team. When we missed the semi-finals and quarter-finals in the last two years, I was sad. But this year I don’t feel that way because we played great, good cricket. We dominated all 3 games but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I’m very happy with the performance of the Kerala team this season.

2. Q. There are many young players in Kerala team, as you said, there is a mix of young players and experienced players. Can you name just a few players that you think could become great players and break into the IPL national team in the years to come?

Not only IPL, but we have the talent to actually play for the country. Players like Rahul B, Vathsal Govind, Eden Apple Tom and another guy; Sijomon Joseph the left arm spinner then Nitish and a guy who hasn’t played a game but will still bring the Kerala team forward, his name is Varun Nayanar. These are the youngsters we got from U19 and they played really well. I think these are some of the players who can make it big in the near future.

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Q. So you said Kerala cricket is evolving and there are a lot of young players coming in. So who do you think played a key role in this change?

I would say that’s the federation and the coach, Tinu Yohannan. This thing happened in 2003 when I came into the picture (team). June,July,August it’s raining in Kerala so we can’t practice here. The club then takes us to Chennai or Bangalore. We tour Sri Lanka, we tour Australia, we tour South Africa, so all the years and effort, now it’s paying off. I would like to thank the association for giving us these opportunities. I know that no federation in India has given such opportunities because I know that the teams started training a week before the tournament.

People used to tell me when I went to the IPL or other tournaments that “You guys (Kerala) started preparing very early and what we did then is paying off now. All the players who were there are still there as seniors and the guys who were there as youngsters were there then too. So we mixed and ran all these camps.

Now Tinu Yohanan is the coach of the team and as he is also a former Kerala player he understands the game very well, he knows all the characters of the game and S Sreesanth also makes sure to lead the team in a good direction and he motivates the team very well. When he’s there, he’s like a big brother, he takes care of all disciplinary things. I’ve always believed that the team needs discipline and it’s always our turn.

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Note: Sachin Bay is exclusively represented by FairPlay Sports, a sports marketing agency with offices in Delhi, Noida, Bangalore, Baroda, Chennai and Jamshedpur. “This is the best season I’ve had with the Kerala team”

Subhankar Mondal

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