Sachin Baby    Getty Images
Sachin Baby Getty Images

Thiruvananthapuram: Promising batsman Sachin Baby was on Tuesday named Kerala skipper for the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season, replacing Rohan Prem. Both Baby and Prem have been amongst the runs in the previous season. The batting department also boasts of the likes of Sanju Samson and Arun Karthik, who completed the switch from Assam. Rising wicketkeeper-batsman Vishnu Vinod, who made his first-class debut last season was also included in the 15-member squad along with first choice stumper Mohammed Azharuddeen. The pace bowling department will be led by Basil Thampi and Sandeep Warrier whereas left-arm spinner Karaparambil Monish is the team’s lead slow bowler in the absence of fellow left-armer Iqbal Abdulla. Ranji Trophy: J&K mull pullout owing to financial constraints

Daryl Ferrario and Sijomon Joseph, who were part of the India Under-19 squad, have been named among the standbys with the former’s presence to be confirmed following a fitness test. Kerala finished fifth in the last Ranji season after managing to win only one game and drawing seven. The Dav Whatmore-coached side are placed in Group B this time alongside defending champions Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Saurashtra. Ranji Trophy 2017-18: North-East Indian states request for inclusion as combined team

Squad: Sachin Baby (Captain), Sanju Samson, Rohan Prem, Arun Karthik, Jalaj Saxena, Mohammed Azharuddeen (WK), Akshay Chandran, Salman Nizar, Sandeep Warrier, Basil Thampi, Karaparambil Monish, MD Nidheesh, Rahul P., Vishnu Vinod (WK), Mohammed Asif.

Standbys: Fabid Farook, Athif Bin Ashraf, Sijomon Joseph, Akshay KC, Daryl Ferrario (subject to fitness clearance).