Shikhar Dhawan will be the centre of the attention when India A take on South Africa A in the fourth unofficial ODI of the five-match series at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, on Wednesday. Dhawan could not do much and managed a dismal 65 in five international innings against the West Indies after making a comeback from the injury he suffered during the ICC World Cup 2019.
Picked in India A squad for the last two games as a replacement for injured all-rounder Vijay Shankar, he is likely to feature in the playing eleven, to be led by Shreyas Iyer, tomorrow. With the senior team all set to take South Africa in a three-match Twenty-20 International series, starting from September, Dhawan should be desperate to find his form in the remaining two India A matches.
The first three matches saw the home team register comprehensive victories to gain an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the series under the captaincy of Manish Pandey. The last two unofficial ODIs will see several new faces in the playing eleven, the notable being the inclusion of Iyer and Dhawan. Another player who would be closely monitored by the selectors in Sanju Samson.
The Kerala player has replaced Ishan Kishan as the wicket-keeper and is also in contention for the role of glove-worker in the senior team after Rishabh Pant’s continuous failures. The 26-year-old cricket, who has played a lone international match for the senior team in a T20I game against Zimbabwe in 2015, would look to gain back the trust of the selectors to make a return to the international arena.
Shubman Gill, too, would be looking to play some big knocks and live up to his potential. After having a run feast in the recently-concluded unofficial series against the West Indies, the right-handed batsman looked bleak in his approach in the first two games against South Africa A. Dropped in the third game, the 19-year-old sensation would be hoping to get back to scoring ways.
India A squad: Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Prashant Chopra, Anmolpreet Singh, Ricky Bhui, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Nitish Rana, Shivam Dube, M S Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Rahul Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Tushar Deshpande, Ishan Porel.
South Africa A squad: Temba Bavuma (Captain), Matthew Breetzke, Kyle Verrynne, Junior Dala, Theunis de Bruyn, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Marco Jansen, Anrich Nortje, Sinethemba Qeshile, Lutho Sipamla.