India A in Kenya 2004-05 August 9, 2004

Venugopal Rao and Ojha to join India A

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Venugopal Rao and Naman Vinay Kumar Ojha will replace Rohan Gavaskar and Dinesh Karthik in the India A squad. Both Gavaskar and Karthik were selected to play for India in their upcoming tournaments in Holland and England.

Ojha is a wicketkeeper from Madhya Pradesh, while Rao is a batsman from Andhra Pradesh. They will play in the tri-nation series against Pakistan A and Kenya in Nairobi, after which they will participate in two four-day games against Kenya from August 26 onwards.

Ojha, a 21-year-old, had also played for Ujjain. In three seasons for Madhya Pradesh, he has performed adequately with the bat, scoring over 1000 runs in 18 first-class games, with nine half-centuries. He averages close to 33 with the bat in both forms of the game. Rao, on the other hand, is a 22-year-old who has played since 1998 and averages nearly 50 in first-class games. He also averages over 40 in one-dayers, and in 35 innings, has scored four centuries and 10 fifties. He has a knack of picking up wickets as well, though his offbreaks can be expensive.