India A's Ishan Kishan during nets ahead of today's warm-up tie versus England at Brabourne Stadium. Pic/Suresh Karkera
England play their second warm-up game against a second-string India A side at Cricket Club of India's Brabourne Stadium with their tails up. Unlike the first game on Tuesday evening when England won by three wickets with seven balls remaining, there is no MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Ashish Nehra or Ambati Rayudu in this squad led by Ajinkya Rahane, who is back from a finger injury.
Suresh Raina, Vinay Kumar and Ashoke Dinda are the others with some international experience in the line-up. But Raina too is coming back from an ill-health and an injury break, Kumar and Dinda last played for India in 2013 and Parvez Rasool just played one ODI against Bangladesh on June 15, 2014. For Dinda, Kumar and Rasool this is one more opportunity to impress the selectors who have gone cold on them. This match is also a great opportunity for the two U-19 stars - Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan, who have been included in India's T20 squad to face England next month - to enhance their reputation as power hitters. At nets yesterday, both were seen hitting almost every ball into the stands.
Pant hit four centuries in his first full Ranji season which includes a triple hundred against Maharashtra and a 48-ball ton against Jharkhand. Kishan was instrumental in taking Jharkhand to the Ranji semis with knocks of 273 against Delhi and 136 against Saurashtra.
Few other youngsters, who have been rewarded with a place in the India A squad for their fine show in domestic cricket, are Deepak Hooda, Sheldon Jackson, Shahbaz Nadeem and Vijay Shankar. They will look to grab this opportunity with both hands.