Mumbai: The young Indian cricketers of the Board President's XI will be out to prove a point or two when they take on the South Africans in a two-day practice match which starts here at the Brabourne Stadium on Friday.
Led by Cheteshwar Pujara, the Board President's XI features upcoming youngsters like Lokesh Rahul, Unmukt Chand, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Naman Ojha and Karn Sharma who will form a talented squad against the in-form South African side.
After the Twenty20 and One-Day International (ODI) series loss, India will face South Africa in a four-match Test series, and it will be a test for the visitors to shift their gears from limited overs to the longest format of the game with the much-needed warm-up match leading up to the first Test starting on November 5 in Mohali.
While their skipper Pujara has played 28 Tests, Naman Ojha and Karn Sharma have made just one Test appearance each. The duo along with their other uncapped teammates will look to use their first-class experience to the best effect. The strong and balanced Proteas side will, obviously, look to keep their winning momentum intact.
The match will also offer the Indian youngsters a rare opportunity to prove themselves against international opponents, scoring runs against the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir. They will also take a look at the experienced AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla from up close to gain the much-needed confidence to make it to the Test level.
With the Indian Test squad for the first two matches already announced, it will be a golden opportunity for the young players to prove themselves and remain in contention for a call-up for the final two matches.
Board President’s XI: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Lokesh Rahul, Unmukt Chand, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Naman Ojha (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Sheldon Jackson, Karn Sharma, Nathu Singh.
South Africans: Hashim Amla (captain), Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Chris Morris, Kyle Abbott, Marchant de Lange, Kagiso Rabada, Khayelihle Zondo, Eddie Leie.