Rohit Sharma will be leading a 13-member Board President’s XI squad in the practice match against South Africa, that will be played in Vizag from September 26. Apart from Rohit, Mayank Agarwal, whom he will be opening at the top in the Test series, has also been named in the squad.
Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran, who were in contention for the Test call up, have also been named in the squad along with wicketkeeper KS Bharat. He too is in the scheme of things, as mentioned by MSK Prasad a few weeks back.
Jalaj Saxena is also a part of the squad. He was recently called up to India A squad to the first unofficial Test against South Africa A and grabbed the opportunity with an unbeaten half-century.
Shardul Thaur and Umesh Yadav will share the new ball. They will be assisted by Ishan Porel and Avesh Khan. Umesh was a part of the squad for the Test series against West Indies but did not get a chance. Later, he was dropped for the series against South Africa as the selectors had to trim the squad.
Thakur, on the other hand, isn’t in the scheme of things for now. He did play for India A recently but he is behind in the race for now. He made his Test debut against West Indies last year.
The practice match will serve as ideal preparation for Rohit, who is all set o open the innings in the Test series. He will be replacing KL Rahul at the top, who has been dropped from the Test squad.
With Rohit and Mayank set to open the proceedings, Panchal and Easwaran will have to bat in the middle-order.
The Test series between India and South Africa kicks off on October 2 with the first Test to be played in Vizag. The second and third Test will be played in Pune and Ranchi from October 10 and 19, respectively.
Board President’s XI squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, AR Easwaran, Karun Nair, Siddhesh Lad, KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Jalaj Saxena, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Ishan Porel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav