Gill, Shankar in focus as India A meets South Africa A

Shubman Gill shone in India A team’s recent Caribbean tour but missed out on selection for the senior ODI squad; Vijay Shankar will also be on the selectors’ lens.

Shubman Gill at a training session during the Duleep Trophy in Bengaluru.   -  FILE PHOTO/ N. SUDARSHAN

Young Shubman Gill would be the cynosure of all eyes when the five-match unofficial ODI series between India A and South Africa begins here on Thursday.

Gill shone in India A team’s recent Caribbean tour but missed out on selection for the senior ODI squad. And the batsman would be keen to prove his credentials against the visiting Proteas ‘A’ side.

The stylish Punjab right-hander, who played two ODIs in New Zealand earlier this year, would look to continue the good run he enjoyed in the Caribbean to make a case for himself before the national selectors ahead of the home season.

Besides Gill, all-rounder Vijay Shankar is another player who will be on the selectors’ lens after he recovered from a toe injury.

READ| Shubman Gill disappointed by non-selection for WI tour

Shankar had to return mid-way from the ICC World Cup in England due to the injury. He made a comeback in the Tamil Nadu Premier League.

With a long home season ahead, the Tamil Nadu all-rounder would be eager to get back into the groove.

Manish Pandey, who recently made a comeback into the national limited-overs side in the West Indies, will lead the team in the first three games before Shreyas Iyer takes over for the last two matches.

Pandey will be eyeing big runs as the battle for a middle-order slot in the Indian ODI side continues.

The team comprises several players who were recently part of the senior limited overs side in the West Indies.

The series will also provide a good opportunity for wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal to get his mojo back.

Chahal, who is going through a slump in form since the World Cup, would be looking to hit the straps quickly against the Proteas, who are not regarded as great players of spin.

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Krunal Pandya, who has made a mark with both bat and ball in the T20 series in the Caribbean, will also be seen in action alongside the talented Ishan Kishan, in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad and Nitish Rana.

India A’s bowling will be led by pace duo of Khaleel Ahmed and Deepak Chahar. For South Africa A, led by the experienced Temba Bavuma, the series will help them gain much-needed experience of sub-continent conditions ahead of the senior team’s tour.

Teams (from):

India A: Manish Pandey (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Anmolpreet Singh, Ricky Bhui, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Vijay Shankar, Shivam Dube, Krunal Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Nitish Rana.

South Africa A’: Temba Bavuma (Captain), Matthew Breetzke, Kyle Verrynne, Junior Dala, Theunis de Bruyn, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde , Janneman Malan, Marco Jansen, Anrich Nortje, Sinethemba Qeshile, Lutho Sipamla.

Match starts at 9 am