Test specialists Vijay, Rahane likely to feature in India 'A' game

The two batsmen have already reached England and could feature in India A’s final four-day fixture against England Lions in Worcester, starting from Monday.

Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay arrived in England early to acclimatise to the conditions ahead of the Test series.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The Test series is a fortnight away and the national selectors have still not announced India’s squad for the marathon series against England, but India’s long-format specialists, Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay, are certainly doing all that they can to stay on top of the game.

The two batsmen —who are most likely to be in the squad for the five-match Test series which begins on August 1 — have already reached England and have started preparing for the crucial series. Sources in the know of things have indicated to Sportstar that both Vijay and Rahane could feature in India A’s final four-day fixture against England Lions in Worcester, starting from Monday.

After India captain Virat Kohli had criticised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for cramped schedule ahead of the team’s tour to South Africa, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief, Vinod Rai, had made it clear that the Test specialists would travel early to England to get accustomed to the conditions.

“There will be a few seniors — among Test specialists, who will leave for UK in early June along with Rahul’s India A team. I can’t say how many — anything between two to four senior team players will be there from start of A tour. A few will play the Afghanistan Test match and then leave for England. But yes, at least 7 to 8 players, who are all Test team specialists will have to be in England in June,” Rai had said.

Vijay and Rahane performed well the last time India toured England in 2014.

Sources indicate that wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who is in England with the India’s limited overs team, could also stay back with the team for the Tests. With the regular stumper Wriddhiman Saha still not fit, the team management is mulling the option of keeping Karthik till the first Test.

The squad is likely to be announced in the next few days.

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