Ban-A vs Ind-A 2022 – Sitanshu Kotak, Troy Cooley and T Dilip take charge of India A in Bangladesh

Ban-A vs Ind-A 2022 - Sitanshu Kotak, Troy Cooley and T Dilip take charge of India A in Bangladesh

Sitanshu Kotak, the former Saurashtra captain and one of the batting coaches at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), has been given charge of the India A team currently touring Bangladesh for two four-day fixtures. Kotak will be assisted by Troy Cooley, the Australian bowling coach at the NCA, and T Dilip, the national team’s fielding coach.

Dilip had been given a short break following India’s T20 World Cup campaign, and will now travel with the India A team and then join the national side for the Tests in Bangladesh; the shadow ‘A’ tour overlaps with the three-ODI series beginning on December 4. Rahul Dravid and the rested senior players are all set to return after being given a break for the limited-overs series in New Zealand.

The changes in the coaching set-up for the ‘A’ side were required since their coach – and NCA head – VVS Laxman, along with his support staff of Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Sairaj Bahutule, are with the senior India side in New Zealand.

Former opener SS Das, also part of the NCA staff, wasn’t considered for the ‘A’ tour – he is understood to be among those in the fray to become a national selector after the BCCI advertised for openings earlier this month while removing the earlier panel.

The ‘A’ squad, led by Abhimanyu Easwaran, touched down in Dhaka on Saturday, and underwent their first training session in the beach town of Cox’s Bazar, which will host the first four-day fixture from November 29. The second four-dayer will be played from December 6-9 in Sylhet.

The tour has been scheduled in such a manner that most of the India A players, barring those selected to stay back for the two-match Test series, would return home in time to be part of their state teams’ preparations for the Ranji Trophy beginning on December 13.

Among those who have been sounded out for a potential call-up for the Bangladesh Tests is left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar, who could fill in if Ravindra Jadeja is deemed unfit for the Test leg too. Jadeja is recovering from a knee surgery, and had been included in the tour party only subject to fitness.

Last week, he was withdrawn from the ODI squad and replaced by allrounder Shahbaz Ahmed after the NCA medical staff felt Jadeja needed more time to recover.

Saurabh has been on the fringes of the national team since February last year, following excellent returns since the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy. He was more recently part of the India A squad against New Zealand, where he picked up nine wickets in the series to help the Indians to a 1-0 win.

Prior to that, he played a key part in Uttar Pradesh’s run to the Ranji Trophy semi-final. In all, across 12 Ranji Trophy games from two completed seasons, Saurabh has an impressive tally of 58 wickets.

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