Priyank Panchal to lead India A against New Zealand A; Tilak, Kuldeep also part of squad

Priyank Panchal will lead the India A side in the upcoming three four-day matches against New Zealand A, scheduled to be held in Bangalore and Hubli next month, the BCCI announced on Wednesday.

Apart from Panchal, who has been a India A mainstay for a long time now, Abhimanyu Easwaran also finds a place and will shoulder most of the batting burden in the long-form matches. Both Panchal and Easwaran have an enviable record in first-class cricket as well as the experience of being around India’s Test squad.

Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar, the top two rungetters of the 2021-22 Ranji campaign have also made it to the squad. Also part of the squad is Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been travelling with India’s white-ball teams as back-up opener.

Meanwhile, Tilak Varma, who has played just four first-class matches, has also been picked in the squad. Verma was impressive for India in the last Under-19 World Cup and was in great touch in his maiden IPL campaign this year for Mumbai Indians. KS Bharat, widely regarded as Rishabh Pant’s understudy in Test cricket, is also part of the side.

In the bowling department, Kuldeep Yadav and Prasidh Krishna have been named among a contingent of international players. Apart from them, Umran Malik and Arzan Nagwaswalla retain their spots whereas Yash Dayal and Mukesh Kumar have also managed to get in.

Kuldeep has been in and out of the India side and the series will present him an opportunity to continue his strong comeback post his injury troubles.

The first four-day fixture gets underway from September 1. Once the red-ball series concludes, the teams will also play each other in three one-day games in Chennai later between September 22 and 27. Squads for the white-ball games to be played in Chennai will be announced later.

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