India A in Bangladesh: Cooley, Kotak and Dilip are in charge

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

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

The changes to the coach setup for the ‘A’ side were necessary as their coach, and NCA boss VVS Laxman, along with his support staff of Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Sairaj Bahutule, are with India’s senior team in New Zealand.

Former starter SS Das, also part of the NCA staff, was not considered for the ‘A’ tour; he is believed to be among those in the hunt to become national coach after the BCCI announced the openings earlier this month while removing the previous panel.

The ‘A’ team, led by Abhimanyu Easwaran, touched down in Dhaka on Saturday and held their first training session in the coastal city of Cox’s Bazar, which will host the first four-day match from 29 November. The second four-day match will be played from December 6-9 in Sylhet.

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

Among those who have been sounded out for a possible call-up to the Bangladesh Tests is left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar, who could replace Ravindra Jadeja if he is deemed unfit for the Test stage. Jadeja is recovering from knee surgery and had been included in the tour party only subject to her physical condition.

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

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

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

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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