Uttar Pradesh seamer Ankit Rajput is all set to travel South Africa with Virat Kohli and his team as an additional bowler to bowl Indian batters in nets preparation for the upcoming Test series, as Cricket South Africa (CSA) canceled India’s two-day tour game ahead of its three-match Test series.
Although, CSA has not officially given a reason for the cancellation of the practice match, but opted training sessions on those days instead of two-day tour game for the tourists.
With the new developments, India will head into the Test series without a practice match against South Africa, which is scheduled to start from 5 January at Newlands, Cape Town.
It is learned that the Indian Team is set to leave for South Africa on 28 December.
With the effect of tour-game termination, Indian Team Management decided to choose quality bowling attack for the Test specialists batsmen likes of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, and Murali Vijay for the net practice, so that the batters can easily face the South African fast bowlers during the Test series.
The Team Management also included other seamers - Avesh Khan, Mohammad Siraj, and Basil Thampi who will also tour South Africa with Team India to help India’s preparation in South Africa.
Initially, they had included Navdeep Saini for the net session in South Africa, but now the Team Management named Ankit Rajput in place of Saini to add additional quality in the seam attack for the practice of Indian batters for the Tests.
The right-arm medium bowler Ankit confirmed to Sport Star, “You heard that right, I am going to South Africa as a practice bowler. Navdeep isn’t going, so I have been taken as a replacement. It was a surprise. I got to know about it last night when a mail came from the BCCI.”
In the season 2017-18 Ranji Trophy, Ankit took 18 wickets in five matches at 34.38 average.