The rescheduled Quadrangular Series one-day cricket tournament, featuring India-A, India-B, Australia-A and South Africa-A, commences here on Thursday.
The tournament was recently shifted to Bengaluru, after heavy rains forced the abandonment of the first four matches at Vijayawada.
The teams will now face each other once, and the best two sides will qualify for the final, to be held at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on August 29.
The opening day of the Bengaluru leg will see India-A take on a strong Australia-A at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, while South Africa-A and India-B battle it out at Alur grounds.
Players from the two India squads will look to go all-out, in an attempt to seal a senior India berth for the Asia Cup coming up next month.
India-A players Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, K. Gowtham, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar will be keen to make the most of this opportunity, and the same holds good for the likes of India-B stars Manish Pandey, Mayank Agarwal and Siddharth Kaul.
The visiting teams, Australia-A in particular, pose a stiff challenge. The side’s batting unit is packed with quality players such as skipper Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Rajasthan Royals’ D’Arcy Short, experienced Test cricketer Usman Khawaja and rookie southpaw Matthew Renshaw.
The bowling is spearheaded by pacer Billy Stanlake and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar. The side is coached by former England
international Graeme Hick.
South Africa-A, which lost a two-match unofficial Test series against India-A in the city a few weeks ago, is well acquainted with local conditions. The one-day team is bolstered by the inclusion of batsmen Temba Bavuma and Farhaan Behardien, both of whom have excelled in international cricket not too long ago.
Bengaluru, in recent weeks, has seen its fair share of rain. While the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium is equipped with the excellent SubAir subsurface aeration drain system, the Alur grounds are more susceptible to showers.
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