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Raj Bawa: Explosive in the World Cup, preparing to back up Hardik, will do well under Sanju’s captaincy

New Delhi: All-rounder Raj Angad Bawa, who was part of the U-19 World Cup winning team, has been included in the India-A ODI squad. India A and New Zealand A will be captained by wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson for three ODIs starting September 22. The remaining two matches of the series will be played on September 25 and 27. All these three matches of the series will be played in Chennai.

Prithvi Shaw, who performed well with the bat in the Duleep Trophy, has been included in the squad, which includes most of the players from the Indian team’s tour of Zimbabwe. Bawa is a medium fast bowler and left-arm middle-order batsman who played a key role in India’s under-19 World Cup champions.

He has played only two Ranji matches for Chandigarh but it is understood that the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee wants to work on a replacement for Hardik Pandya. In order to prevent Pandya from getting injured, he will have to focus on managing his workload. Meanwhile, all-rounders like Shivam Dubey and Vijay Shankar were tried but failed to prove themselves at the international level.

So the selectors are trying to build a pool of fast bowlers and all-rounders. India have many options for spin bowling all-rounders, but the number of fast bowlers who can bat well from the lower middle order is very few. The series against New Zealand A will give the selectors an opportunity to assess Bawa’s potential.

Raj Bawa performed brilliantly in the Under-19 World Cup. He scored 252 runs with 9 wickets in 6 matches for Team India, including his unbeaten 162 against Uganda.

India A Team: Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Iswaran, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Rahul Tripathi, Rajat Patidar, Sanju Samson (C), K.S. India (R), Kuldeep Yadav, Shahbaz Ahmed, Rahul Chahar, Tilak Verma, Kuldeep Sen, Shardul Thakur, Umran Malik, Navdeep Saini. Raj Angad Bawa

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