All-rounder Jalaj Saxena has been called up as cover for Krishnappa Gowtham to the India A squad for the first of two-match unofficial Test series against South Africa A, starting on Monday in Thiruvananthapuram. India A will look to carry forward their winning run from the One-Day series.
After a convincing 4-1 win in the one-dayers, the India ‘A’ side led by Shubman Gill will take on South Africa A for two unofficial Tests – the first at the Greenfield Stadium in Kerala and the second at Mysore. The hosts have picked Shahbaz Nadeem as the lone specialist spinner, while Krishnappa Gowtham, an off-spinner himself, will play the role of the all-rounder. India A also has Shivam Dube as a bowling all-rounder, but injury concern to Gowtham means that Jalaj gets the nod, albeit as a cover.
The off-spinner, who currently plays for Kerala, has been in terrific form in the recent past. After making his first-class debut way back in 2005-06 for Madhya Pradesh, Jalaj has come good particularly well in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 first-class seasons bagging 36 and 44 wickets at 24.36 respectively. He also bowled incisive spells in the just-concluded Duleep Trophy, ending up with seven wickets. Jalaj is also a useful batsman, having notched up 6044 runs at an average of just over 37.
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