Sitanshu Kotak given charge of India A team for tour of Bangladesh absence of Laxman: Report

Saurashtra batting stalwart Sitanshu Kotak has been given the charge of the India A team currently in Bangladesh on a tour of two four-day matches.

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, Kotak, who is also a batting coach at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, will be assisted on the tour by Troy Cooley, the Australian who’s the fast-bowling coach at NCA, and T. Dilip, the fielding coach of India senior men’s team.

Kotak, who scored 8061 runs in first-class matches for Saurashtra in a two-decade-long career, was part of the India A support staff during their tour of South Africa in November-December 2021 and was also there for India senior men’s tour of Ireland in June.

Dilip was on a short break following India’s campaign in Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, and will now travel with the India A team and then join the senior men’s side for the Tests in Bangladesh. The India ‘A’ tour of Bangladesh is overlapping with the three-match ODI series starting from December 4.

Head coach Rahul Dravid, batting coach Vikram Rathour, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey and the rested senior players like captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are all set to return to action after being given a break for the ongoing white-ball series in New Zealand.

The report also said that changes in the coaching set-up for the ‘A’ side were needed since Laxman, the NCA head, along with Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Sairaj Bahutule are with the senior men’s side in New Zealand.

Former India opener Shiv Sunder Das, also part of the NCA staff and was batting coach of the women’s team in the ODI World Cup earlier this year, wasn’t considered for being part of the coaching staff on the ‘A’ tour.

The report said he is understood to be among those in the fray to become a national selector after the BCCI advertised for five-member selection committee openings earlier this month with the deadline for submitting the applications being November 28, 6 pm.

The India ‘A’ squad, led by Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, touched down in Dhaka on Saturday and underwent their first training session in Cox’s Bazar, which will host the first four-day fixture from November 29 to December 2 at the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium.

The second four-day match, which will see Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav and KS Bharat be part of the ‘A’ side ahead of India senior men’s two Tests against Bangladesh, will be played from December 6-9 at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.

India A squad for 1st four-day game: Abhimanyu Easwaran (C), Rohan Kunnummal, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Yash Dhull, Sarfaraz Khan, Tilak Varma, Upendra Yadav (wk), Saurabh Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Atit Sheth

India A squad for 2nd four-day game: Abhimanyu Easwaran (C), Rohan Kunnummal, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Yash Dhull, Sarfaraz Khan, Tilak Varma, Upendra Yadav (wk), Saurabh Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Atit Sheth, Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav, KS Bharat (wk)

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