The young guns of India have immense talent in them which was partly reflected from IPL 7. The India A team, packed with youngsters will tour Australia for 2 4-day matches in July. The squad began preparing for the tour at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore from Monday (June 23rd) for a camp that will last till 1st July.
India A squad will be led by Manoj Tiwary will include several other players with international experiences in the likes of Robin Uthappa, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Amit Mishra and Ambati Rayudu in addition to the captain himself.
The 2 4-day games will be led by Manoj Tiwary while the limited over games will be led by Uthappa. After the 4-day matches, there will be a quadrangular series from July 20 to August 2 that will feature India A, Australia A, South Africa A and Australia’s National Performance Squad. However, the ongoing camp at the NCA is only for the players picked for the four-day games.
The coach of the India A side, Lalchand Rajput said that the camp was meant to get the players used to long-format groove. He said, “It is a fine opportunity to have this camp here as most of the players are coming in after playing one-day matches and Twenty20 like the Bangladesh tour and the IPL. So this camp will help the players to get back to the game’s longer version especially the four-day format.”
He also added, “This will be a skill-based camp and we also hope to have a two-day practice game. We didn’t have the players, who are exclusively part of the squad for the quadrangular series, as then the numbers would have been high and we wouldn’t be able to focus more on individual players. The one-day specialists will join us directly in Australia.”
Also the India A matches will be an acute opportunity for players like KL Rahul, Karun Nair and Jasprit Bumrah to make their mark. All of them have had a successful domestic season and being part of an India A tour as a result of that will be a graduation to the next level. It will be an opportunity for experienced players like Pragyan Ojha and Umesh Yadav to make a mark and in the process will help them to make it to the national squad.
Ojha played his last test match in November, 2013 and was dropped from the squad during India’s tour to South Africa and New Zealand. He is also not included in the Indian squad for their England tour.
Umesh Yadav had a pretty good domestic and IPL season and plenty were surprised of the decision that he was not included in the squad.
Sandeep, the youngster from Punjab, picked up 36 wickets in 8 matches in this year’s Ranji Trophy. He was bought by Kings XI Punjab on that account and he also had an amazing run with his seam bowling in the initial phase of the tournament. Anureet, the right-arm medium pacer, was rewarded after a successful season with Railways where he bagged 44 wickets, the second highest in the Ranji Trophy this year behind Rishi Dhawan, who had 49 wickets. Dhawan is part of the limited-overs side.
The core of the batting for the 4-day games will be formed by the likes of Uthappa, Rayudu and Tiwary. Uthappa managed to score a half century in India’s tour to Bangladesh while Rayudu and Tiwary did not manage to make a significant score in any matches on the tour.
This tour is a part of an exchange programme and it has been initiated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and supported by Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa with the aim to provide increased exposure to the future players and also to provide them with an opportunity to have some experience about overseas conditions and soils.
India A squad for four-day matches: Manoj Tiwary (captain), KL Rahul, Jiwanjot Singh, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Karun Nair, Naman Ojha (wk), Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Anureet Singh, Rajat Paliwal, Amit Mishra, Sandeep Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Baba Aparajith.