Robin Uthappa to lead Kerala in limited-overs cricket
Robin Uthappa, seen here playing for KKR in 2019, has moved to Kerala. © BCCI

Robin Uthappa will lead his new state team Kerala in the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but no decision has been made on the captain for the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy.

It had been speculated that Uthappa, who switched from Saurashtra to Kerala between seasons, would lead the team instead of Sachin Baby who in 2018-19 captained Kerala to the semi-final stage of the Ranji Trophy.

The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has confirmed that Uthappa will lead in limited-overs cricket, and that a call on Baby’s tenure as Ranji captain has not been made.

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“Uthappa is an India international and we will like to utilise his experience in the best possible way,” said KCA secretary Sreejith V Nair. “We have communicated our decision to coach Dav Whatmore and he has expressed no reservation. We have faith in Robin’s leadership skills and that’s why we have decided to name him captain for the shorter formats.

“We will evaluate Robin’s captaincy once both Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournaments end. Ranji Trophy is beginning only in December. So we still have time to take a decision on Kerala’s Ranji Trophy captain.”

Uthappa, 33, two seasons ago shifted from Karnataka – for whom he scored 6865 runs in first-class cricket and 2943 in List A cricket – to join Saurashtra as a professional. He played six Ranji Trophy matches for Saurashtra, from which he made 325 runs at 40.62, and 14 List A games with returns of 292 runs at 20.85.

India’s domestic season got underway with the ongoing Duleep Trophy.