Last November, Rohan Prem faced 226 balls for an unbeaten 77, without which Kerala would have struggled to avoid defeat to Goa in a Ranji Trophy match at Perinthalmanna.
Flash forward to Indore in late March. Rohan smashed 92 not out off just 51 balls to help Kerala score a stunning six-wicket win over Delhi in the Syed Mushtaq all-India Twenty20 tournament.
Then there was this brilliant 170 against Tripura at Agartala that laid the foundation for Kerala’s first Ranji Trophy victory of the season.
His more-than-useful spells of off-spin that have often broken partnerships giving little away.
Rohan has had a great season for Kerala, and was deservedly named the ‘best all-rounder’ of the year by the Kerala Cricket Association on Wednesday.
“The last season has probably been my best ever as I was able to do well in all three formats, scoring over 1,000 runs, and I captained the side to two Ranji Trophy wins,” Rohan told The Hindu on Thursday.
“Though I was a bit reluctant to take over the captaincy midway through the season, I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to leading my team again in the next Ranji Trophy season.”
He said he is happy to be part of a very good Kerala side.
“We are no longer taken lightly by anyone, and we can all look back at the last season with pride,” said Rohan, who also plays for India Cements.
“As the season progressed we got everything right; we got the combination of the side right and our batting order looked settled.
“With youngsters like Sanju Samson and Sandeep Warrier coming up, the future too looks bright for Kerala.”
The 26-year-old from Thiruvananthapuram has been one of the few consistent cricketers for Kerala.
He has a decent record too, with 2,148 First Class runs at an average of 39.77, with six hundreds.
He had shown great promise right from his school days, and played on the Indian Under-19 side against the touring English side in 2004-05.
Piyush Chawla, Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary were his teammates then.
“Yes, they have all played for the senior Indian team, and it is disappointing that I have not been able to emulate them,” he said.
“I am glad, though, that I have been a part of the South Zone Duleep or Deodhar Trophy teams for the last five years.”