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Mukund to lead India A in New Zealand

Sidharth Monga

August 10, 2012

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

Wriddhiman Saha evades a short ball, Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide, 3rd day, January 26, 2012
Wriddhiman Saha has been replaced by Naman Ojha as the wicketkeeper in the squad © Associated Press
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Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund, who averaged 7.66 on India A's tour of the West Indies, has been selected to captain the 16-member India A squad for their tour of New Zealand in September and October. Robin Bist, who got one innings on that West Indies tour, Parvinder Awana, who got one match, and Wriddhiman Saha, easily the second-best choice as wicketkeeper in the country, all suddenly find themselves out of reckoning.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ashok Dinda, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma have been picked for either Tests or the World Twenty20, and are hence unavailable. Apart from Abhinav, spinners Akshay Darekar, Jalaj Saxena, Rahul Sharma, and quicks Shami Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the only survivors from what was an average West Indies tour.

India's Under-19 captain, Unmukt Chand, who has been impressive with his batting in some crunch situations in U-19 games, was duly rewarded with a place on the tour. Rajasthan's Ashok Menaria, who scored 462 runs at 77 in last year's Ranji Trophy, was rewarded with a place in the side, but he will miss team-mate Bist, who was the leading run-getter in the tournament. Naman Ojha, who averaged 61 in Ranji Trophy, replaced Saha as the wicketkeeper. Ambati Rayudu finally finds himself in a representative side after his return from the ICL. Vinay Kumar found himself demoted one level, and will be the leader of this attack. Praveen Kumar continued to be out of favour even for the A tour.

Punjab's Mandeep Singh, Bengal's Anustup Majumdar and Mumbai's Suryakumar Yadav took the remaining batting slots. Seamers Rituraj Singh of Rajasthan and Jaydev Unadkat of Saurashtra were left-field picks. Rituraj has played just five first-class games, but averages 18 for his 27 wickets. Unadkat had failed to impress on his Test debut, and got 26 wickets in Ranji Trophy at an average of 27.

India A squad: Abhinav Mukund (capt.), Naman Ojha (wk), Mandeep Singh, Anustup Majumdar, Unmukt Chand, Ashok Menaria, Ambati Rayudu, Suryakumar Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Akshay Darekar, Vinay Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Jalaj Saxena, Rahul Sharma, Rituraj Singh and Jaydev Unadkat

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Kushalagr007 on (August 13, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

As has been mentioned in the article above this tour is going to take place in September & October And the tests agst. NZ finish on 4th Sep'12 so why cant we take the likes of Rahane, Pujara, Saha, Umesh Yadav & P Ojha in the A Team when these guys are not in WT20 Team. And what happened to Amit Mishra once considered to be the sucsessor of Great Anil Kumble? Surely Rahane, Pujara, Saha, Pandey, Bist,Awana, Yadav, Aaron & P Ojha should have been in the A Team. Awana, Yadav, Aaron & Shami Ahmed would have been a great Pace Attack in NZ's condition and it would have been a great learning experince for these young "FAST" men, I dont know much about Rituraj Singh but B Kumar, V Kumar & Unadkat are just useless medium pacers.

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

A Teams should not be place for the pretenders. They should be for genuine contenders for Team India Spots. Hence I would have liked to see Rohit Sharma in the middle order of this team along with Suresh Raina. They both either havent done enough or have actually damaged their reputation. Also then it wouldnt have been a matter of shame for the likes of Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan and S.Badrinath to be included in such tours. I suspect anyone of these players going to New Zeland are capable to replace the Team India players on a short notice. The selections for this tour depended on the upcoming Kiwis visit and World T20. So I hope that is the reason to send a fourth string Indian Contingent to face the invaluable vagaries of the Kiwi Land.

Posted by   on (August 13, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

Good selection,may be Wriddiman Saha has to be in India as a back-up wicket keeper if Dhoni injured or opted out,

Posted by   on (August 12, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

Awana is needed as standby for Zaheer (potential injury). Saha is needed as standby for Dhoni ( potential ban for slow over-rate). I think, they also have kept back in India potential replacement for many more... make your own guesses!

Posted by love_4_the_game on (August 12, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

I am very very very much happy. since the worst selector of the indian cricket will be no more as a selector. Shrikanth was only helpin his chennai players and CSK players to play for india, ignoring all the players from other state. advice for the new selection committee 1)Please don select indain team based on ipl performances, 2) let a new player have a 2 seasons of ranji games, before playin in international level 3) Once selected in a A team plz give him a chance to play in 11, rather than droppin him for the next tour without bieng tried.4) and try to allow players who are sittin in bench to play in the ranji games when they are not featurin in playing 11 so that they will be in good shape rather than warming benches. this will be in case of tiwarys, rohit sharmas, and spinners 5) try to look out for an all rounder, especially fast bowlin one in the near future.

Posted by sony_sr on (August 12, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

What the hell these selectors are doing! After giving only one chance how can you drop bist and awana. Awana is the most promising guy in demestic circuit. He was top wicket taker in ranji and performed excellently in IPL.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 20:46 GMT)

Good team Evanthough Mayank & Manish is missing in the list.They can include Dhawal kulkarni or Abu Nechim

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

I have seen at least 1 comment about why not Robin Uthappa...My answer as someone who has been watching Robin bat for a while & loving every minute of his innings, till he decides that batting straight is for fools, attempts innovation & forces his wicket on the opposition - the answer is in my comments. Robin Uthappa is one of the most brilliant batsmen I have seen. He however chooses to force his wicket on the opposition (NOTE - I am not saying he errs - he forces his wicket upon the opposition)...Worse, like an ass, he does not learn from his mistake & rectify. Next opportunity, he does it again. Even though his ability to bat is brilliant, I am not sure I want someone so stupid to represent my country.

Posted by baghels.a on (August 11, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

Srikant is hell bent on ruining Manish Pandey's career ,he should have been on Indian team for t 20 WC in W.I held two years ago but for some reason he wasn't,Oaky he didn't have a good IPL but he scored 200 in his last Ranji match before getting injured.Many people might baulk at Saurabh Tiwary's 1.3 mil IPL price tag but he was selected for India and he scored 40 not out before being dropped again,why is Awana dropped,only silverlining is Chand,Surya and Menaria.Thank goodness this selection comitee is finishing it's term.

Posted by kk4540 on (August 11, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Where is Badrinath He is waiting his turn since 5 years

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