Agarwal, Shaw look to strengthen their cases

Mohammed Siraj would look to continue his good work against South Africa A. DH Photo

After a splendid show in the first four-day game against South Africa 'A' here, the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw and Mohammed Siraj will be keen to further strengthen their cases when the second tie begins here at the Alur grounds from Friday.

Agarwal (220) and Shaw (136), under the watchful eyes of chairman of selectors of the national team, MSK Prasad, made a big statement with fine knocks in India A's huge innings and 30-run victory here at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.

Both batsmen, having delivered on the tour of England in June, appear in great touch and against an attack that looks far from lethal, the duo will be eager to dazzle again. In the batting department, Karnataka batsman R Samarth, who missed out on a big score with a score of 37, will be hoping for another chance to make a mark. Skipper Shreyas Iyer (24), playing first-class cricket after a long gap, also squandered a chance.

Siraj's tremendous effort in both the innings saw him finish with a match-haul of 10 wickets. His impressive consistency in red-ball cricket augurs well for team India's bench strength. The Hyderabadi pacer, who received high praise from India 'A' coach, will be eyeing another eye-catching performance to grab the selectors' attention.

Among other pacers it remains to be seen if the emerging Ankit Rajpoot will be a given a chance in place of Rajneesh Gurbani, who had an average outing.

Yuzvendra Chahal was the biggest name before the first tie. The leg-spinner was supposed to the lead the attack but thanks to a mix of unresponsive conditions for spin and lack of experience in longer-format, Chahal failed to trouble the South Africa A batsmen. A big name in limited-over cricket, it appears like Chahal needs to put in a lot of work to get going in the longer format.

The India 'A' squad will have one change with Axar Patel being replaced by Shahbaz Nadeem.

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Agarwal, Shaw look to strengthen their cases

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