Perinthalmanna (Kerala): Fresh from their back-to-back wins over Tripura and Jharkhand, Assam start as favourites when they take on Kerala in their Ranji Trophy Group C league match starting on Saturday.
Assam have collected 13 points, including a bonus, from their two matches, while Kerala have just one point from the lone drawn match against Himachal Pradesh.
Kerala, with a strong batting line-up, fumbled against Himachal, but middle order batsman Rohan Prem rescued them by scoring a patient unbeaten 104 and denied an outright win.
In-form wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Viswanath Samson was instrumental in Kerala`s first innings total of 229. Samson notched up a brilliant unbeaten 127, while the other Kerala batsmen failed to come up with a decent score.
Besides Rohan Prem and Samson, the hosts will also bank on veteran opener Jagadish for a sizeable total while bowling will be spearheaded by captain and medium pacer Sony Cheruvathoor and spinners S Anish, Prashanth amd K R Sreejith.
Assam, who are in splendid form, would rely on their captain Dheeraj Jadav, who had scored the first Ranji Trophy double century of this season. Jadav slammed 243 against Tirpura.
Syed Mohammed had shone both with both the bat and ball against Jharkhand in shaping his team`s victory. The bowling department will be in the hands of Syed Mohammed and Arlen Konwar.