IND-A vs NZ-A 1st Unofficial Test: All eyes on Sarfaraz Khan, Kuldeep Yadav as India A take on New Zealand A

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IND-A vs NZ-A 1st Unofficial Test: All eyes on Sarfaraz Khan, Kuldeep Yadav as India A take on New Zealand A
IND-A vs NZ-A 1st Unofficial Test: All eyes on Sarfaraz Khan, Kuldeep Yadav as India A take on New Zealand A

IND-A vs NZ-A 1st Unofficial Test: All eyes on Sarfaraz Khan, Kuldeep Yadav as India A take on New Zealand A

IND-A vs NZ-A 1st Unofficial Test: When Sarfaraz Khan bats for India A against New Zealand A in the first unofficial Test starting on Thursday, he will be looking to translate his incredible domestic results into massive runs at the international level.

The New Zealand A team would compete with the home team because it has at least six players who have at some point in the past played for the senior national team.

The majority of the Indian team’s players participated in an A series in South Africa toward the end of last year and are looking to solidify their positions on the Test team.

But because Sarfaraz is playing at the same place where he made a hundred in the Ranji Trophy final a few months earlier, nobody would gain the kind of momentum that he or she is expected to.

While the selected players are either well-known domestic performers or someone like Kuldeep Yadav, who would hope to rediscover his mojo after missing the last red ball domestic season.

All eyes on Kuldeep Yadav as India A take on New Zealand A
All eyes on Kuldeep Yadav as India A take on New Zealand A

But in the case of the bulky Mumbaikar, the interest would be even greater because, following a season in which he scored nearly 1000 runs in the Ranji Trophy, he is figuratively knocking on the doors of the senior national squad.

India’s following Test match is scheduled for December in Bangladesh, following the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Sarfaraz is a strong candidate to join the flight to Dhaka. If there is at least one open middle order spot in that squad, if not both. Hanuma Vihari’s exclusion from the India A team. And subsequent selection to play in the Duleep Trophy for South Zone. Alongside Shreyas Iyer for the West Zone, is a clear indicator of that.

Given that Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will soon be replaced. It can said with some degree of surety that the national selection committee is still unsure. Whether Vihari and Iyer are long-term solutions for India’s middle-order problems.

As a result, Sarfaraz’s performances as well as those of people like Ruturaj Gaikwad would extensively scrutinised.

Even the captain Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran, a longtime teammate in the A squad. Also would desire to rack up a big score against bowlers like Matt Fisher, Benjamin Lister. And Test spinner Rachin Ravindra.

While Shubman Gill is a floater in Tests and Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are India’s top opening combo. There room for another specialised opener who might get opportunities down the road. As the present skipper isn’t getting any younger.

Prasidh Krishna, who is now a reserve bowler in Test matches, will want to bend his back. And show that he is a deserving successor for Ishant Sharma when his turn comes in the near future. Kuldeep will look for a lot of overs in the bowling department.

He will get to bowl at Mark Chapman, who just so happened to play for Hong Kong. In the most recent Asia Cup (50 over) in the United Arab Emirates. And who, a month ago, had a fantastic T20I series for the Black Caps against Scotland.

Given that there are three Tests, NCA head coach. And team head coach VVS Laxman will follow the practise of his predecessor Rahul Dravid. And use every player in every game.

Instead of focusing on a series victory, Dravid’s straightforward approach for A team games. That was to consider building a strong bench strength by identifying the main players for various positions.

SQUAD

India A Squad: Priyank Panchal (c), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Tilak Varma, Srikar Bharat, Upendra Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Saurabh Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar, Yash Dayal, Arzan Nagwaswalla.

New Zealand A Squad: Tom Bruce (c), Robert ODonnell, Chad Bowes, Joe Carter, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Jacob Duffy, Matthew Fisher, Cam Fletcher, Ben Lister, Rachin Ravindra, Michael Rippon, Sean Solia, Logan van Beek, Joe Walker.