Vacation mode is well and truly off for Team India who are currently on a tour of the United Kingdom. While they had travelled to England prior to their ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June, post their defeat in the summit clash, they had taken some time off. Prior to their warm-up match against County Select XI they reunited again in Durham and are now playing a three-day warm-up game at the Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street.
In significant news coming in from that already underway match, Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar have been included in the County Select XI team. This implies that although Indians are batting first, Avesh and Washington will be seen bowling with the red cherry against their own countrymen. In fact, Avesh has been given the new ball against the Indian opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal.
Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane rested from practice game, Rohit named captain
In another big news, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane are not featuring in the only warm-up match before the five-match Test series in England set to begin in August. In the captain and vice-captain's absence, limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma has been named the skipper of the Indians XI. Moreover, KL Rahul is the designated wicketkeeper for this 3-day fixture as was being speculated ever since Rishabh Pant could not join the team due to COVID-19 and Wriddhiman Saha was also sent into isolation after being deemed a close contact of yet another Coronavirus positive member.
While KL Rahul has kept wickets for Team India in white-ball cricket, this is the first red-ball game that he will be keeping wickets for in the Indian setup. Along with Rahul, the team features Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj. R Ashwin, who had already started preparing with a county stint is also missing in the XI.
The opportunity to bowl for County Select XI could be a huge opportunity for Avesh who was not even part of the squad but had travelled as a net bowler. The right-arm pacer has been a consistent performer in domestic cricket for Madhya Pradesh and has also impressed in his stint with the Delhi Capitals in IPL.