New Zealand A vs India A, 2nd Unofficial Test, Preview: Acid test for visitors in senior players' absence

New Zealand A vs India A, 2nd Unofficial Test, Preview: Acid test for visitors in senior players’ absence

The home side has also rung in a few chances for the last couple of games.

Karun Nair Test
Karun Nair Test. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

After a kind of practice game for the national players ahead of Australia tour, India A and New Zealand A will lock horns in the second of the three-match unofficial Test series. The opening game of the series ended in a stalemate as the Indian batsmen spent some quality time out in the middle and clearly their experience of playing at the highest level helped them have a lid over the home side.

There will be so many changes in their side with as many as five players leaving the side after that match and their replacements have arrived a long ago. This will be a stern test for the likes of Ankeet Bawne and Ravikumar Samarth among others who are known to pile up runs in abundance in the domestic cricket back home. Karun Nair will lead the team and all eyes will be on him after all the comments regarding not getting enough chances for the national team.

New Zealand have also named a different set of squad for the last two matches and they will have to ring in changes in this game as well. Dane Cleaver and Hamish Rutherford are not the part of the line-up now and they will be missed badly in the batting department. However, the presence of Lockie Ferguson make the bowling look solid for the home side. Cam Fletcher, another wicketkeeper-batsman has also been added to the squad.

Team Combinations

New Zealand A

George Worker seems to have recovered from his head injury as Rutherford has left the team. He will open the innings along with Will Young with Tim Seifert and Glenn Phillips to follow. Cam Fletcher will take the gloves in Cleaver’s absence and will bat at 6 while Rachin Ravindra is another middle-order batsman. In the bowling department, Lockie Ferguson is likely to replace Seth Rance who was ordinary with the ball in the first match.

Probable XI: George Worker, Will Young (c), Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Cam Fletcher (wk), Doug Bracewell, Kyle Jamieson, Theo van Woerkom, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner.

India A

There will be five changes in the Indian team. The opening combination will be completely new one with Mayank Agarwal and Abhimanyu Easwaran taking up the responsibility. Ravikumar Samarth and Ankeet Bawne will look after the middle-order with Karun Nair and Srikar Bharat to follow. Bharat will also do the wicketkeeping duty while Vijay Shankar is likely to be the lone all-rounder in the side.

There might be a change in the bowling department with Rajneesh Gurbani getting a game in place of Deepak Chahar most probably. Shahbaz Nadeem can make it to XI ahead of Krishnappa Gowtham which might weaken the batting a little bit.

Probable XI: Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Ravikumar Samarth, Karun Nair (c), Ankeet Bawne, Srikar Bharat (wk), Vijay Shankar, Rajneesh Gurbani/Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Nadeem.

Focus will be on

George Worker (New Zealand A)

George Worker was ruled out of the series opener at the last moment due to blow to his head ahead of the game. He might be a little vulnerable against the short ball now which the tourists might target. With international appearance up his sleeves, Worker’s batting will be under the scanner and much will depend on how he does at the top of the order.

Mayank Agarwal (India A)

He must’ve felt hard done after being dropped from the Test squad for Australia tour. Nevertheless, Agarwal has got the opportunity to stake his claim further in the team. He just has to keep performing and an injury to any player here and there might open up a place for the opener with still 14 days to go for the Test series. However, Agarwal should concentrate on performing in this game first after having a decent outing in the previous outing.

Match Timings: 3:30 IST; 11:00 local

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