Selectors pick two ‘A’ teams after Rahul Dravid’s suggestion to let players play Ranji Trophy

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Selectors pick two ‘A’ teams after Rahul Dravid’s suggestion to let players play Ranji Trophy

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SportsCafe Desk

10/03/2017

The senior national selectors’ idea of announcing two 'A' teams for five-match one-day series against New Zealand 'A' has been influenced by Rahul Dravid’s suggestions of not pulling players out of the Ranji Trophy. Dravid wants the Ranji Trophy to be given as much importance as the India A matches.

In a first of its kind move, the selectors picked two different teams for the India A matches against the New Zealand A to be played from October 6 in Vijayawada and picked another set of players for the Board President's XI team to play two warm-up matches against the New Zealand team, who will play a three-match ODI and three-match T20I series against India. With Ranji Trophy starting on October 6, if a single team was picked for the 'A' matches as well as the warm-up matches, the players would have missed at least two rounds of Ranji matches.

Understanding that India 'A' and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid intervened with the prospect of players missing out on Ranji Trophy matches for the sake of playing List A matches for India. 

"The team was specifically picked keeping this in mind. The importance of Ranji Trophy performances can't be ignored. As it is, there are fewer Ranji matches these days as teams have been divided into four groups," a source close to the development told TOI on Monday.

"Dravid isn't very comfortable with the idea of pulling players out of Ranji Trophy. He wants Ranji to be given as much importance. His ideas are kept in mind," a senior BCCI official said.

Even the first unofficial Test against New Zealand 'A' overlapped with the Duleep Trophy final. 

"The selectors also had to keep in mind the stress on these young players who have been hopping cities and teams since the Duleep Trophy started last month. That's why someone like Shardul Thakur, who the selectors have kept on the fringes of the Indian team, is in both the 'A' teams but not in the Board President's XI. Others like Deepak Hooda, Prithvi Shaw and Karn Sharma have been juggled," the source informed.

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