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  5. Ravi Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane might travel to South Africa early for first-class games ahead of Test series

Ravi Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane might travel to South Africa early for first-class games ahead of Test series

India and South Africa will be playing in a two-match Test series at the latter's home in December and January as the World Test Championship fight resumes. Ahead of the series, India will reportedly play three first-class games for which Ravi Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane might travel to South Africa.

Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Updated on: November 25, 2023 9:58 IST
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane.
Image Source : GETTY Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane.

Senior players like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane might be travelling to South Africa early when the Indian A team takes on South Africa A for three first-class games. India and South Africa will be locking horns in a two-match Test series at the latter's home in December and January as the two giants resume their charge in the World Test Championship cycle 2023-25. 

According to a report of PTI, an Indian A team will be playing three first-class (four-day) matches against South Africa A, as part of a shadow tour before the main Test series loads in. This arrangement was always being done by BCCI wherever the Indian team travelled, but after the Bangladesh tour, it did not happen as the focus was on the ODI World Cup. 

A BCCI source told PTI that there will be three first-class games played in South Africa. "Yes, there are three four-day Tests between India 'A' and South Africa 'A' next month. The team for that will be announced in some days. Most of the consistent young performers along with those (seniors) who need some game time before the two Test matches in Centurion (December 26 to 30) and Cape Town (January 3-7) will be there," a BCCI source said as quoted by PTI.

The report adds that the likes of Abhimanyu Easwaran, B Sai Sudharsan, Yash Dhull, Kona Bharat, Upendra Yadav and Saurabh Kumar are surely in the mix to play the tour games, while it would be a thing to see if players like Ashwin, Rahane and Jaydev Unadkat also get the nod for one of the three games at least. 

BCCI is likely to arrange five to six first-class games for India's A side in the coming two months from December to January. The Men in Blue will be playing seven Test matches in the coming four months - two away against South Africa and five at home against England. 

Three first-class games will be played before the South Africa tour while another two to three can be played ahead of the England series against England Lions (England 'A').

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