Wanting to prepare as well as possible for the all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia later this year, the BCCI and the Indian team management have decided to send an A team of Test aspirants, led by Rahane, to New Zealand.
The India A will embark on a tour of three unofficial Tests and as many List A games in New Zealand during the month of November, while Internationally the Virat Kohli led India side tours Australia for three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs, with the first Test at Adelaide starting December 6.
The first of the three four-day games in New Zealand will likely serve as a warm-up game for the opening Test Down Under. Under the mentorship of legendary Rahul Dravid, the A side would be looking to adapt their game to the Australian conditions. The second-string side announced for the remainder of the four-day games will be led by Karun Nair, who was left out from the Test squad against the West Indies without being given a chance in England.
Given that the first four-day game is to be played in a bid to prepare for the Test series, it is certain that more than eleven players will have a bat, and a large number are likely to have a bowl as well. Some of the notable rookies in the squad include Rajneesh Gurbani, KS Bharath, Ishan Kishan among others.
India A squad for first four-day game: Murali Vijay, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Krishnappa Gowtham, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Rajneesh Gurbani, Vijay Shankar, Srikar Bharat
India A squad for last two four-day games: Karun Nair(c), Rajneesh Gurbani, Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, R Samarth, Ankeet Bawne, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Srikar Bharat, Ishan Kishan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shabaz Nadeem, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar
India A squad for three List A games: Mayank Agarwal, Anmolpreet Singh, Shubhman Gill, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Ankeet Bawne, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Krunal Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed