India A will take on Bangladesh A in the first ODI of the three-match series at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Unmukt Chand will be leading this young Indian brigade in the series.
The inclusion of Suresh Raina will not only add experience to the young Indian side, but will also bolster the middle order. By playing this three-match ODI series, Raina will also be getting some good match practice ahead of the much-awaited home series against South Africa.
Bangladesh named a fairly experienced 'A' side for the tour of India where they will be playing three ODIs and two three-day matches. The likes of Soumya Sarkar, Nasir Hossain, Mominul Haque (skipper), Rubel Hossain and Sabbir Rahman will be featuring in the Bangladesh A team. There are several other players in the contingent who have played against India when they handed the MS Dhoni-led Team India a shocking ODI series defeat earlier this year.
Apart from pacers like Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain and Shafiul Islam, Bangladesh A also have several spinning options in the form of Jubair Hossain, Arafat Sunny and Shuvagata Hom. The spinners will have a major role to play in the series. If they can exploit the Indian conditions, which are similar to their home conditions, they can trouble the hosts.
Meanwhile, India A have announced a similar squad that played against Australia A and South Africa A in the month of August. This side tasted success in the triangular series that involved Australia A and South Africa A.
It was quite a special series for Mayank Agarwal as he scored 409 runs in five matches at an astounding average of 81. He also hit two brilliant match-winning centuries in that series. His performance will be closely watched by the selectors ahead of the energy-sapping South Africa series.
Raina will be under a little pressure as he will be eager to get amongst some runs before he gets to play with the big boys against the Proteas. Raina has been training hard under the watchful guidance of Rahul Dravid and is desperate to get his form back.
"I worked hard when Dravid was the captain. He was very solid with me, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan and the other youngsters who had come into the team then. That gave me a lot of confidence and I'm very excited to play with him as my coach," Raina told reporters ahead of the first ODI.
Jayant Yadav, Karan Sharma, Rishi Dhawan, S Aravind, Dhawal Kulkarni, Rush Kalaria and all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh Mann will be handling the bowling department for India A. Chand has plenty of options in his plate and it will be interesting to see what combination he opts for the first ODI against Bangladesh A.
India 'A': Unmukt Chand (c), Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Kuldeep Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Karan Sharma, Rishi Dhawan, S. Aravind, Dhawal Kulkarni, Rush Kalaria, Gurkeerat Singh Mann.
Bangladesh 'A': Mominul Haque (c), Anamul Haque (wk), Rony Talukdar, , Litton Das, Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Nasir Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Saqlain Sajib, Shuvagata Hom, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Jubair Hossain.
Where to follow live:
The first ODI between India A and Bangladesh A will not be broadcast on any TV channel in India. The live streaming option is also not available. However, cricket fans in India and Bangladesh can follow the live scores and updates here.