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Kerala cricketers who have represented India A in recent times

Image result for jalaj saxena

In recent times, we have seen a lot of importance given to ‘A’ cricket. Top teams in the world are making decent efforts to make their ‘A’ teams play a lot more. This is not only helping the fringe players get more exposure and experience but it also gives them more opportunities to stake a claim in the senior side.

India, in particular, have been very keen on these ‘A’ tours and matches. Under the watchful eyes of Rahul Dravid, the India ‘A’ side have been pretty consistent. They’ve played some really good cricket, both home and away. The players have been consistent and seem to be really getting into the groove nicely. Hence, this ‘A’ system has created a strong bench strength.

Thus, here, let’s look at some of the Kerala cricketers who have been in and around the ‘A’ side.


#4 Jalaj Saxena

In the last four years, no all-rounder has been more successful than Jalaj Saxena in the Ranji Trophy. In fact, in the last four seasons, he’s won the best all-rounder award thrice (missing out only in the 2016-17 season).

However, he last played for India ‘A’ in 2013 when New Zealand ‘A’ came touring and the matches were played in Visakhapatnam. Even in that series, he played just one 50-over game. However, he did get an opportunity to play the four-day games. He didn’t do well with the bat as he got just 30 runs in 2 innings. However, he took 8 wickets in 3 innings.

However, since then, he hasn’t been a part of the India ‘A’ squads. But he has been one of the most consistent performers in the domestic circuit. Thus, he deserves to be in the ‘A’ squad at least. He will look to continue the good work he's done over the last few years.

#3 VA Jagadeesh

Image result for VA Jagadeesh

It’s been close to 14 years since VA Jagadeesh made his first-class debut and he’s hardly been noticed. It took him almost a decade to earn an India ‘A’ call-up. He played alongside Jalaj Saxena who became his future Kerala teammate against New Zealand ‘A’ in the four-day series.

In the only game he played, he struck a solid 91 and added 197 with Manpreet Juneja for the third wicket. However, that was the only game he played with India ‘A’. However, he has been consistent with Kerala and has a decent record. In 65 first-class games, he has amassed 3327 runs at an average of 34.29. He also has 7 hundreds and 18 fifties in first-class cricket to go with his 5 hundreds and 11 fifties in List ‘A’ cricket.

His recent form has also been good where he scored 3 successive half-centuries in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy.

#2 Basil Thampi

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Basil Thampi is one of those players who shot into the limelight because of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He made his IPL debut in 2017 playing for the Gujarat Lions (GL). And his maiden wicket was that of Chris Gayle.

He hasn’t looked back since then. He has been hovering in and around the India ‘A’ squads. He first got an India ‘A’ call-up for the ‘A’ Tri-series in South Africa which included the hosts South Africa ‘A’ and Afghanistan ‘A’. In that series, he was not amongst the wickets but was pretty economical.

He was also a part of the Indian T20 side during a three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka in December last year. However, he didn’t get a game.

In recent times, he looked in decent rhythm in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and also played for the Board President’s XI in the warm-up game against West Indies ahead of the Test series.

#1 Sanju Samson

Image result for Sanju Samson India A

Sanju Samson is another one of those players who burst onto the scene through the Under-19 World Cup. He played the 2014 Under-19 World Cup and finished as India’s leading run-scorer (267 runs at 44.50 with 3 fifties). However, before this World Cup, he had already played in the IPL in 2013.

He oozed with talent and it was evident. But his inconsistency has often pulled him down. He has often lingered around the ‘A’ squads. He has also played one T20I for India and that came in Zimbabwe in 2015. Since then he hasn’t been selected in any of the Indian squads.

Recently, he was axed from the India ‘A’ team which toured England after he failed to pass the Yo-Yo Test (he failed to cross the benchmark of 16.1). However, he made a comeback for India ‘A’ in the A-Team Quadrangular Series which was played in August this year.

He has looked in good touch and has got starts frequently but has failed to convert them. For now, though, he will look to start this Ranji season on a good note.

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Edited by Sripad
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