Bangalore: Abhinav Mukund, the Tamil Nadu batsman, was named captain of the India A team for the tour of New Zealand in September.
Ashok Menaria, the Rajasthan batsman, will be Mukund’s deputy, while Menaria's state mate Robin Bist, who got just one match in West Indies during the India A tour in June 2012, was axed. Also omitted from the squad were Wriddhiman Saha, the Bengal wicketkeeper, and Parvinder Awana, the Delhi pacer, who had just one four-day outing in the Caribbean.Mukund had a torrid time on the West Indies tour where he averaged 7.66 in six innings.
Among the players who were part of the tour, Cheteshwar Pujara, who aggregated 252 runs in six innings at an average of 50.62, earned a Test call-up for the series against New Zealand, while Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane were named in the Indian squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September this year.
Anustup Majumdar, the Bengal batsman who also played for Pune Warriors in the 2012 Indian Premier League, Unmukt Chand, captain of India at the ongoing Under-19 World Cup in Australia, Mandeep Singh, the Punjab batsman, Ambati Rayudu, the Hyderabadi middle-order batsman who played for Baroda last season, and Suryakumar Yadav, the Mumbai allrounder, found places in the 15-man squad.
The bowling line-up will be spearheaded by Vinay Kumar, the Karnataka pacer, while Rituraj Singh, the Rajasthan medium pacer, and Jaydev Unadkat, the left-arm seamer, are expected to support him.
India A will play three 50-over matches, one Twenty20 fixture and two four-day first-class games on the three-week tour of New Zealand, which starts on September 18.
Squad: Abhinav Mukund (capt), Ashok Menaria, Naman Ojha (wk), Mandeep Singh, Anustup Majumdar, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Akshay Darekar, Vinay Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Suryakumar Yadav, Jalaj Saxena, Rahul Sharma, Rituraj Singh, Jaydev Unadkat and Unmukt Chand.