With a new selection committee in place, both India discards and hopefuls will be keen to make themselves heard in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy that starts in Rajkot today. The Challenger has usually been a tournament to reassess the bench. Remember, India are slated to play a plethora of ODIs this season starting with the England series.
Yusuf Pathan, Shikhar Dhawan, Robin Uthappa and Abhimanyu Mithun, all part of the Challengers ‘A’ team, would know that opportunities in Indian cricket come unannounced.
Yusuf played his last ODI in March. He appeared to have forgotten his hitting point in the IPL-5. Can he redeem himself here?
And how the costliest IPL cricketer Ravindra Jadeja has dropped off. So much so that he doesn’t figure in India’s ‘A’ team doing duty in New Zealand.
Of the lot, Uthappa has everything to gain. Although India’s ODI team wears a settled look, the openers have had an ordinary association in recent times. Who knows what a couple of breezy innings would do to a career that promised so much at one point.
With the format changed this season, Vijay Hazare champions Bengal will take on India ‘A’ in the first match.
India ‘A’: S Badrinath (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Parvinder Awana, Abhimanyu Mithun, Pragyan Ojha, Iqbal Abdulla, Harshal Patel, Udit Birla
Bengal: Wriddhiman Saha (captain/wk), Jayojit Basu, Debabrata Das, Subhomoy Das, Sandipan Das, Shreevats Goswami, Sayan Mondal, Arnab Nandi, Writam Porel, Veer Pratap Singh, Ravikant Singh, Sourav Sarkar, Iresh Saxena, Alok Sharma, Laxmi Ratan Shukla