Focus on Pujara, Dhawan as Mumbai A take on England

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 02, 2012 08:40 hrs

Mumbai: Special invitees Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan would be the closely watched by the national selectors when Mumbai A take on the visiting England team in the tourists' second three-day warm-up game here from tomorrow.

Pujara, a prolific run-getter in domestic cricket and scorer of a ton in the opening Test against New Zealand in August, looks a certainty for India's first Test squad to be announced on the last day of this game.

Dhawan is a strong contender to be the reserve opener at Ahmedabad following his big scores in the earlier part of the 2012-13 domestic season.

The Delhi batsman would have played in place of Abhinav Mukund for India A in the opening warm-up game but opted out of the originally announced squad as his wedding date clashed with the match.

Apart from this duo, there are players like captain Suryakumar Yadav, Kshemal Waingankar and Balwinder Singh Sandhu Jr., who will be watched with interest by the selectors.

Medium pacer Waingankar, in fact, had taken a six-wicket haul when England last visited the country and played a warm-up game at Brabourne while Sandhu made an impressive Ranji Trophy debut as a new ball bowler last season.

There are others like batsmen Hiken Shah and Bhavin Thakkar, apart from leg spinner Sagar Gorivale and medium pacer Javed Khan who would be eager to impress against a top visiting side.

The visitors, on the other hand, had a satisfactory outing in their opening drawn game against India A that ended yesterday.

Most pleasing from their point of view was the long stays at the crease of captain and opener Alastair Cook and middle order batsman Samit Patel, both of who scored centuries.

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