Rahane, Pujara likely to tour New Zealand with India A

India A is likely to play two unofficial four-day Tests in mid-November ahead of the senior side's Test series in Australia.

Rahane and Pujara (R) are lined up for India A tour to New Zealand.   -  AFP

In order to improve the preparation for the forthcoming tour to Australia, Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and batsman Cheteshwar Pujara are set to tour New Zealand with the India A squad next month.

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India A is set to tour New Zealand starting mid-November. While the itinerary of the tour is yet to be announced, India A is likely to play two unofficial, four-day Tests before the start of the Test series in Australia. India's limited overs' squad, after finishing the home series versus West Indies on November 11, will leave for Australia on November 16. The Australia tour will start with three Twenty20 internationals from November 21 before the first Test in Adelaide on December 6.

The national selectors in consultation with the team management are understood to have all but decided to depute the seasoned duo prepare in New Zealand instead of playing a couple of Ranji Trophy games back home. It is also understood that budding openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal – who will be vying for a debut in the first Test versus Rajkot starting Thursday – will also be selected for the New Zealand tour.

Opting to not play too many warm-up games has hurt India badly during its last two major overseas challenges, in South Africa and England. But the crammed schedule means India cannot play more than one warm-up game between the T20 series and the opening Test in Australia. As a result, the team management and the selectors are exploring the option to let more batsmen get adapted to conditions that would be similar in Australia.