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Ankit Rajpoot to accompany Team India on South Africa tour

Originally, there were reports that Team India is travelling with four quality net bowlers — Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan, Navdeep Saini and Basil Thampi.

Ankit Rajpoot
Ankit Rajpoot. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Uttar Pradesh and former Kolkata Knight Riders seamer Ankit Rajpoot has been selected ahead of Navdeep Saini to travel with the Indian team to South Africa as a part of the contingent and help the batting stalwarts prepare for the grinding tour ahead.

He will be the fourth seamer, apart from the five chosen in the Test squad, who will be bowling in the nets to the likes of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in conditions that assist seamers to help them get acclimatized and prepare for the 3-Test series that kicks off on 5th January 2018.

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Originally, there were reports that Team India is travelling with four quality net bowlers — Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan, Navdeep Saini and Basil Thampi to ensure the batsmen have a wide variety of options to face in the nets. However, the former CSK and current KKR seamer, who has represented India A and been amongst wickets in domestic cricket has been backed by the selectors.

Surprise call-up

“You heard that right, I am going to South Africa as a practice bowler. Navdeep isn’t going, so I have been taken as a replacement,” he confirmed to Sportstar. “It was a surprise. I got to know about it last night when a mail came from the BCCI,” he added.

The right-arm medium bowler hadn’t seen this assignment coming but is delighted to be a part of the travelling party with the big boys. “At least, I am getting a chance. It is a good feeling to rub shoulders with the big players in different conditions. I don’t have any plan as of now, I will do what I am asked to. I have to read the conditions and do my best,” he pointed.

This is his first unofficial call-up to the international set-up and he is determined to make the most of it. Having finished the Ranji Trophy season with 18 scalps from 10 games, Rajpoot is striving for improvement, as he works on his fitness ahead of the upcoming trip. “My body is fit, it will further boost up before we leave for the tour,” assured Rajpoot.

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