Rohit Sharma, who was initially picked in India A’s squad for the first four-dayer against New Zealand A, which starts on November 16 at Mount Maunganui, has been rested, keeping in view his heavy workload.
Rohit had captained India to a 3-0 sweep of West Indies in the T20I series, which ended on November 11. He was the second-highest scorer in the series, with 121 runs in three innings, including a record fourth T20I hundred. He was then initially slated to play in the first four-dayer against New Zealand A at Bay Oval from November 16 to 19. Had he been part of that match, he would’ve had just a day’s break, before heading across the Tasman for a full series, which begins with the first T20I at the Gabba on November 21. A limited-overs regular for India, Rohit was also selected for the four-Test series in Australia. Prior to the limited-overs series against West Indies, Rohit had also played two matches for his state Mumbai in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy last month.
Ajinkya Rahane will captain India A in the first four-dayer before joining the senior team for the Test series in Australia, which begins with the first Test from December 6 at the Adelaide Oval. Karnataka batsman Karun Nair will lead India A in the second and third four-dayers in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Doug Bracewell, who had last played Test cricket in August 2016, was picked in the New Zealand A squad. He’s the second-highest wicket-taker for Central Districts in the four-day Plunket Shield Shield this season, behind Seth Rance, who was also part of the squad to face India A.
”We all know his game and it’s good to see him back at 100 percent fitness. We know what his capabilities are and want to see more of that at a slightly higher level,” New Zealand chief selector Gavin Larsen said.
Eighteen-year-old left-arm spin-bowling allrounder Rachin Ravindra, who had helped New Zealand finish at the top of Group A in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year and later impressed with the A team in the UAE, retained his place.
Ravindra was the top scorer for New Zealand A in the UAE, with 173 runs in four innings, including two fifties, to add to three wickets with the ball.
‘He’s a player with a big future, no doubt about that,”Larsen said. “He’s obviously a skilful cricketer and very measured. We see this tour as another chance for Rachin to move his game forward against quality opposition.”
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Cleaver, Kane Williamson’s cousin, and fast bowler Scott Kuggeleijn, were picked only for the first four-dayer against India A. Canterbury’s Cam Fletcher and Auckland tearaway Lockie Ferguson will replace them in the next two matches.