In later December 2023, Abhimanyu Easwaran will captain India A during the first two matches of the touring England Lions’ matches in Ahmedabad. The shadow tour begins with a two-day warm-up on January 12-13, followed by a four-day first-class match on January 17-20, both in Ahmedabad.
During India’s recent two-Test tour of South Africa, Abhimanyu was the backup opener. He is likely to play a similar role in the home Tests. B Sai Sudharsan, who scored consecutive half-centuries in his first two ODIs against South Africa, is the most likely partner for Abhimanyu instead of Devdutt Padikkal. Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, and Pradosh Ranjan Paul form a strong middle order. If the selectors are looking for middle-order options for the Test side, Patidar and Sarfaraz could be the focus. In South Africa, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul were India’s No. 5 and No. 6 behind No. 4 Virat Kohli.
KS Bharat, the second wicketkeeper on the South Africa tour, is the top pick for the wicketkeeper position for the England Tests. Dhruv Jurel has been named as his backup. Spinners Manav Suthar and Pulkit Narang, who plays for Services, are also part of the team. The pace attack will largely remain unchanged, with Navdeep Saini, Vidwath Kaverappa, Tushar Deshpande, and Akash Deep making up the squad again. The tour will include two more four-day matches in Ahmedabad.
The India A squad against England includes Abhimanyu Easwaran (capt), B Sai Sudharsan, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Pradosh Ranjan Paul, KS Bharat (wk), Manav Suthar, Pulkit Narang, Navdeep Saini, Tushar Deshpande, Vidwath Kaverappa, Dhruv Jurel (wk), and Akash Deep.