Gearing up for South Africa tour: Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan in India ‘A’ squad

Suresh Raina, who was not picked in the Test team, has not played much cricket of late.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai | Updated: September 9, 2015 10:09:51 am
Suresh Raina, Suresh Raina Shikhar Dhawan, India South Africa, India vs South Africa, Ind vs SA, SA vs Ind, Shikhar Dhawan India, India Shikhar Dhawan, Cricket News, Cricket Suresh Raina didn’t play for India since June. (Source: Express File)

Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan will be part of the India A outfits that will face Bangladesh A during their short tour later this month. The All India senior selection committee has included Raina, the experienced limited-overs mainstay, in the team that will play three one-dayers against the visitors in Bangalore, starting from September 16.

Dhawan, who returned home prematurely from Sri Lanka after sufferring a hairline fracture on his right hand, will open the innings for India A in one of the two three-day contests. His inclusion is partly to fulfill the new BCCI regime’s mandatory exercise of injured players having to prove their fitness before the start of a series.

Unmukt to lead

The one-day squad will be led by Delhi opener, Unmukt Chand, despite the presence of a senior player in Suresh Raina. Chand had led India A to the title in a recently concluded tri-series, involving Australia A and South Africa A. The selection committee is learnt to have met via conference call, where they decided to stick with Chand at the helm.

Raina, who was not picked in the Test team, has not played much cricket of late. His last competitive outings came in Bangladesh where India played three ODIs. And with India all set to take on South Africa in a lengthy home series, which starts off on October 2 with three T20s and five ODIs, the selectors felt that Raina needed match-practice.

Dhawan on the other hand had started off the three-Test series on a bright note, despite batting with an injured hand, by scoring a century in the first innings at Galle before fighting a lone hand in the second innings where the Indian batting crumbled.

The left-handed opener subsequently missed the second and third Tests, which India won, but he will be the first-choice to partner Murali Vijay come the Test series against the Proteas in November.

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