The BCCI, on Wednesday (January 30), announced the 14-man squad of the India A side for the first four-day game against England Lions. Maharashtra star Ankit Bawne will lead the team that features the likes of KL Rahul, Shardul Thakur and other India hopefuls.
The upcoming two-match series will be a big opportunity for the likes of Rahul and Thakur to impress the selectors. Rahul recently retuned to action from the suspension that was imposed on him and Hardik Pandya for the crass comments on a television talk show. Both the players were asked to return home from Australia. Later, the CoA lifted the ban on the pair, pending the appointment and adjudication of the board’s ombudsman.
Pandya then flew to New Zealand to join the national team for the ongoing ODI series while Rahul joined the India A squad for the ongoing one-dayers against England Lions. Rahul has so far failed to impress, scoring 13 and 42 in the two games. With one more game remaining in the series and the upcoming four-day game, Rahul will be desperate to make the chances count. A few more failures could end his World Cup hopes.
Thakur, on the other hand, will be eyeing another impressive show after falling down the pecking order due to a spate of injuries. He recently starred for India A in the fourth game against the Lions by picking up 4 wickets. He has not played for India since walking off the field with an injury on his Test debut against Windies in October last year.
The first four-day game will be played from 7th February in Wayanad.
India A squad for the first game:
Ankit Bawne (C), KL Rahul, AR Easwaran, Priyank Panchal, Ricky Bhui, Siddhesh Lad, K.S. Bharat (WK), Jalaj Saxena, S Nadeem, Mayank Markande, Navdeep Saini, Sharadul Thakur, Avesh Khan, Varun Aaron