Wriddhiman Saha will begin his reintegration after a major shoulder injury with his first first-class game in 18 months when India A take on West Indies A in an unofficial Test starting on Wednesday.
Saha and Hanuma Vihari the two Test specialists have been included in the A squad to prepare for the two-Test series starting late August.
Saha, who is only three months shy of his 35th birthday, is returning after a career-threatening injury. Having played second fiddle to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s shadow for the better part, Saha was finding his feet in international cricket, when the injury during the last IPL season came as a big blow.
With Rishabh Pant proving his credentials with centuries in England and Australia, Saha will once again have to fight for his place in the side.
For Vihari, a good innings will keep Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri interested for the one middle-order slot even though vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is the favourite to take up the No 5 spot for now.
The two openers, Priyank Panchal of Gujarat and Abhimanyu Easwaran of Bengal, will like to continue their good work and keep Rahul on toes, especially after two below-par tours of England and Australia.
Bharath is expected to get a chance in the third Test and a good knock can make him the second keeper at home as the Andhra player is considered to be good keeping up to the spinners.
India A squad: Shreyas Iyer (C), PK Panchal, AR Easwaran, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Shivam Dube, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), KS Bharat (WK), K Gowtham, S Nadeem, Mayank Markande, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Avesh Khan.