Axed from the Test team after a prolonged form slump, India ‘A’ skipper Gautam Gambhir will have a point to prove when he leads out the side in a three-day warm-up cricket match against the Australians starting here today.
The left-handed opener, who hasn’t scored a Test century for three years now, was dropped from the squad for the four-Test series against Australia starting here on February 22.
Replaced by Shikhar Dhawan, who was originally named the A squad skipper, Gambhir found himself demoted to the role.
He would still be biggest star in the India ‘A’ line-up which will square off against the full-strength Australians, who didn’t do too badly in their opening practice game against the Board President’s XI.
The two-day match, which was also played here, ended in a draw with the Aussie batsmen getting a feel of the trying conditions that await them.
Their bowlers, on the other hand, also managed to get some confidence after coming good on a turning track, which was expected to challenge them quite a bit.
The India A squad’s batting will depend on some known faces such as Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane.
There are some new faces in the squad as well, including Jiwanjot Singh, who has scored 995 runs in 10 first-class matches.
Abhishek Nayar – the second-highest run-scorer in the Ranji Trophy this season with 966 runs – is also there.
The Aussies, meanwhile, would want that skipper Michael Clarke, who is nursing a strained right hamstring, manages to be fit for the game and get match practice ahead of the Test series. Also looking for practice would be star all-rounder Shane Watson, playing solely as a batsman.PTI