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Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara might engage with India A side against England Lions

"England Lions are coming for a full series where they will play four day Tests as well as List A and T20 matches."

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

India’s fourth Test against Australia at the SCG, starting January 3, 2019, will be the team’s last assignment for six months with next five-day assignment starting in July 2019. This means the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane considered Test specialists have little to do once Ranji Trophy ends in the last week of January.

Keeping this thing in mind BCCI is likely to do some homework and prepare a roadmap for the longest format specialists so that they get enough match practice in these months. There is a possibility that some of the senior India players may play against England Lions (A team) when they tour India for a full-fledged series in end January-February.

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England Lions are coming for the full series

“The fast bowlers’ workload management is a different issue but in case of some of the Test specialists, we might play them against England Lions. England Lions are coming for a full series where they will play four day Tests as well as List A and T20 matches,” a BCCI source privy was quoted as saying by News 18.

After the Test series against Australia ends, Pujara is likely to join his Ranji Team Saurashtra which is sitting pretty at the top of their group and will definitely play quarter-finals, while Rahane has nothing to do as Mumbai’s chances to play in quarter-finals looks bleak as they have eight points from five matches.

But Rahane, who is not a part of India’s limited-overs scheme of things will next play the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy followed by IPL for Rajasthan Royals. Pujara, on the other hand, will have nothing to do once his Saurashtra’s Ranji engagements get over as he failed to impress any IPL franchise in the auction.

So, It is learned that the selectors might look at Pujara, Rahane and Prithvi Shaw (expected to be fully fit by then) to play the longer format matches with India A to get them serious match time before they again play for India after six months for World Test championship.

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