In a bid to get quality practice against quick bowlers, India have shelved their plan of playing a tour game and instead summoned four rookie pacers to travel with the team to South Africa. The quartet includes Hyderabad's Mohammad Siraj, Madhya Pradesh's Avesh Khan, Navdeep Saini of Delhi and Kerala's yorker specialist Basil Thampi.
All these bowlers are capable of hitting the mid 140s and have performed at the Ranji, IPL and India A level.
"These four are the next-in-line bowlers after the top five who are in the Test squad. Since the pacers in the Test squad should not be put under overexertion during the net sessions, it is only prudent that the next best lot of quick bowlers are there to provide quality practice," a BCCI official told PTI.
India have always had the problems of quality net bowlers on overseas tours which greatly hampers the practice of the batsmen.
Earlier in the day, Cricket South Africa (CSA) stated that India's two-day tour game ahead of their three-match Test series was cancelled.
The Indians have instead, as per CSA, opted for training sessions on those days.
No official reason was given for the cancellation of the warm-up game but the change in schedule would mean that India will head into the Test series - starting January 5 next year in Cape Town - without a practice match.
(With PTI Inputs)