New Delhi: Four of the top ten wicket-takers of this season's Ranji Trophy have been awarded with a place in the Abhinav Mukund-led India A squad to face England in the visitors' first warm-up one-day game, prior to the start of the ODI series.
The BCCI announced the squad on Wednesday, which included Madhya Pradesh medium-pacer Ishwar Pandey, the leading first-class wicket-taker, as well as Haryana's Mohit Sharma, Jammu & Kashmir offspinner Parvez Rassol and Himachal Pradesh allrounder Rishi Dhawan. Significantly, Sreesanth has been included after recently making a return to first-class cricket for Kerala after a year's absence.
The 14-member squad also includes Test opener Murali Vijay and prolific Himachal Pradesh batsman Paras Dogra, who has scored 786 runs so far, including five centuries.
Pandey has taken 48 wickets in eight games, while Sharma is the fourth-highest wicket-taker with 37 at 23.24. Dhawan has made heads turn this season with 487 runs to go with his 36 wickets. Rassol has taken 33 wickets in seven games as well as scoring a team-high 594 runs at 54, with two centuries.
The Maharashtra pair of Kedar Jadhav, who began the season with a career-best 312-ball 327 against Uttar Pradesh, and wicketkeeper-captain Rohit Motwani have also earned maiden call-ups. Jadhav finished second to Harshad Khadiwale in the team run-charts with 627 at 48.23.
Last season's leading run-getter Robin Bist also features in the squad despite a poor season, though he did feature in India A's tour of the West Indies last summer.
England will play the second warm-up game against Delhi, a day-night encounter starting at noon, at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on January 8.
India A Squad: Abhinav Mukund (capt), Murali Vijay, Robin Bist, Kedar Jadhav, Ashok Menaria, Rohit Motwani (wk), Jalaj Saxena, Akshay Darekar, Ishwar Pandey, Sreesanth, Rishi Dhawan, Paras Dogra, Mohit Sharma, Parvez Rassol