Team India’s practice game ahead of their five-match Test series against England got underway in Durham on Tuesday (July 20). There were plenty of surprises in both the sides with the likes of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin all sitting out this practice game.
In addition to that, young Indian paceman Avesh Khan and all-rounder Washington Sundar turned out for County XI instead of Indian. Indian fans were left perplexed on social media after witnessing Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar turn up for the County XI in the practice match against India. While Sundar is a capped Test player, Avesh is yet to make his Test debut and has travelled to England with the team as one of the backup pacers.
“The ECB made a request to the Indian team management to let two players from the Indian contingent play for County Select XI after some of their players were deemed to be unavailable either due to injury or close contacts of a COVID-19 positive person. Accordingly, Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan have been made available to play for their team,” BCCI announced in a statement.
Avesh was seen bowling to India captain Rohit Sharma for County XI during the warm-up match in Durham. Rohit is leading the side as Kohli has been rested for the game. Avesh looked out of sorts at the start of his spell as he was taken to the cleaners by Rohit’s opening partner Mayank Agarwal, who smashed four boundaries in three overs from him.
The BCCI also explained why Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane missed out on this important warm-up game. “Captain Virat Kohli felt some stiffness in his back on late Monday evening and he has been advised rest from the three-day first-class warm-up game by the BCCI Medical Team.
“Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has mild swelling around his left upper hamstring. This has been addressed by an injection. He is not available for the three-day first-class warm-up game. The BCCI Medical Team is monitoring him, and he is expected to fully recover well in time for the first Test against England starting from 4th August at Nottingham,” the statement added.
County Select XI side for India game: Haseeb Hameed, Jake Libby, Robert Yates, Washington Sundar, Will Rhodes (c), James Rew (wk), Lyndon James, Liam Patterson-White, Jack Carson, Craig Miles, Avesh Khan