Fitness test for Dhawan, acid test for Jadeja against Bangla A
Seasoned opener Shikhar Dhawan will like to prove his fitness while an out-of-favour Ravindra Jadeja would like to keep the national selectors interested as India A take on Bangladesh A in a three-day match with the big series against South Africa starting in less than week’s time.
Dhawan, who was in blazing form hitting back-to-back Test hundreds against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, fractured his hand during the Galle Test match and was forced to sit out from the remainder of the series.
Having steadily recuperated from injury and going through paces at the National Cricket Academy, the match against Bangladesh A gives Dhawan, an ideal opportunity to test his fitness in match situation as he leads India A against the visitors.
More than a big score, the emphasis for Dhawan will be about spending quality time out there in the middle to check out if there is any discomfort while batting. Facing the likes of Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain would also prepare him nicely as he gets ready to face South Africa in Dharamsala in the opening T20 International on October 2.
For Ravindra Jadeja, once an indispensable part of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s ODI set-up, it will be a big test as he has now been dumped by selectors across all formats.
That he has not been picked for either of T20s and first three ODIs speaks volumes about the fact that selectors have sent him a stern message that he needs to improve his game before being considered for senior team selection all over again.
While in <g data-gr-id="33">longer</g> version, he is far from being a certainty, this three-day game is a chance for him to impress Sandeep Patil and company with long Proteas home series starting spanning over 72 days.
A good show here and a poor show from Axar Patel might just turn the tables for the Saurashtra cricketer.
Two other players, who would be keen to perform are Varun Aaron and Naman Ojha. While Varun has been a part of Test squad with skipper Virat Kohli’s accent on pace, the Jharkhand speedster has done precious little apart from bowling quick.
The wicket-taking deliveries have been few and far in between and a good show against Bangladesh A can keep him in the hunt for a place on flat tracks where the team management at times might not even go for specialist double pace attack.