India A eager to finish on a high
After registering a seven-wicket win in the opener, India ‘A’ would look to finish the series on a high when they take on South Africa ‘A’ in the second and final four-day game here at the SDNRW stadium from Tuesday.
Under Shubman Gill, India ‘A’ produced a dominant performance in Thiruvananthapuram to go 1-0 up. The second game will be led by seasoned wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha. Openers Priyank Panchal, Abhimanyu Easwaran and top-order batsman Karun Nair, who weren’t picked for the first game, are part of the squad.
The spotlight will be on young Gill, who earned his maiden Test call-up for the upcoming three-match series against South Africa. The 20-year-old, who slammed a 90-run knock in the first tie, is in fine touch and will be keen to script another big knock ahead of the Test series. The contest is equally important for Saha, who is eyeing a return to Tests after a serious shoulder injury had sidelined him.
Nair, who last played for the country in 2017, has had a decent start to the season. The Karnataka batsman was the highest run-scorer in the Duleep Trophy with two half-centuries and one ton. Uncertainty looms over all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who missed the first game due to a thumb injury.
India ‘A’ is spoilt for choices in the spin department, with K Gowtham, Jalaj Saxena, and Shahbaz Nadeem hitting form while Kuldeep Yadav’s international experience will prove crucial.
The visitors, who lost the five-match one-day series 1-4, will look to end their campaign on a high. Skipper Aiden Markram, pacer Lungi Ngidi and top-order batsman Zubayr Hamza will be the key men for South Africa ‘A’.
The squads: India ‘A’: Wriddhiman Saha (captain and wicketkeeper), Priyank Panchal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shubman Gill, Anmolpreet Singh, Karun Nair, K Gowtham, Jalaj Saxena, Kuldeep Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Vijay Shankar, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan.
South Africa ‘A’: Aiden Markram (captain), Theunis de Bruyn, Zubayr Hamza, Lungi Ngidi, George Linde, Pieter Malan, Eddie Moore, Senuran Muthusamy, Marco Jansen, Dane Piedt, Wiaan Mulder, Heinrich Klaasen, Lutho Sipamla, Khaya Zondo.