Rookie Jammu and Kashmir pacer Umran Malik was on Tuesday named in the India A squad, to be led by Gujarat top-order batter Priyank Panchal, for the tour of South Africa beginning from November 23. (More Cricket News)
The BCCI's senior selection committee picked the 14-member squad for the tour which will have three four-day matches. All three matches will be played in Bloemfontein. The BCCI also picked up the Indian T20 squad for the New Zealand series at home.
The 21-year-old Malik, a right-arm pacer, has played just one List A and eight T20 matches so far in his nascent career. He has not played any red-ball game. The player from Jammu got everyone excited with his raw pace during the IPL in UAE last month.
He had clocked 152.95 kph -- the fastest of the tournament -- during Sunrisers Hyderabad’s game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, whose captain Virat Kohli was left impressed. The youngster has risen through the ranks despite humble beginnings. His father owns a small fruit shop in Jammu’s Gujjar Nagar area.
On his T20 debut, he picked up 3/24 against Railways which included the wicket of former India player Karn Sharma, who was beaten for sheer pace. He has taken six wickets in four games in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 championships though Jammu and Kashmir finished last in Group C.
The 31-year-old Panchal is currently leading the Gujarat team in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 championships. Gujarat have qualified for the quarterfinals as toppers of Group D.
Other members of the squad include batters Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran and Devdutt Padikkal and bowlers Navdeep Saini and Rahul Chahar. Bengal pacer Ishan Porel also made the cut.
India A squad for South Africa tour: Priyank Panchal (captain), Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Devdutt Padikkal, Sarfaraz Khan, Baba Aparajith, Upendra Yadav (wk), K Gowtham, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Umran Malik, Ishan Porel, Arzan Nagwaswalla.
India A Itinerary for South Africa tour:
November 23-26: 1st four-day match in Bloemfontein.
November 29-Dec 2: 2nd four-day match in Bloemfontein.
December 6-9: 3rd four-day match in Bloemfontein.