Following Virat Kohli’s withdrawal from the first two Tests against England due to undisclosed personal reasons, Rinku Singh has been added to the India A squad for the second unofficial Test against England Lions. The BCCI, in a statement, revealed that the Men’s Selection Committee led by Ajit Agarkar added Rinku Singh to the India A squad for the second four-day match to be held in Ahmedabad from January 24.
The announcement regarding Kohli’s absence from the Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam Tests included a note about the selection committee planning to announce a replacement for the star batter “soon.” Rinku Singh, initially named for the third match, was now included in the squad for the second tour match, indicating the selectors’ interest in testing him in red-ball cricket.
Rinku Singh has made a strong start to his international T20 career, boasting an average of 89 and a strike rate of 176 in 15 matches. Despite his T20 success, the left-hander has also proven himself in first-class cricket, accumulating 3109 runs in 44 matches at an impressive average of 57.57, including seven centuries and 20 half-centuries.
While Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan may be ahead in the red-ball pecking order, Rinku Singh’s inclusion in the squad suggests the selectors are considering him as a viable option. With KL Rahul likely to take Kohli’s place at No.4 in the XI for the first Test, the final decision on Kohli’s replacement might not come until after the initial match. The India A vs England Lions four-day match, commencing a day before the India-England Test, is expected to play a pivotal role in the selection decision.
India ‘A’ Squad for the 2nd Multi-day Match: Abhimanyu Easwaran (Captain), Sai Sudharsan, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Tilak Varma, Kumar Kushagra, Washington Sundar, Sourabh Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Tushar Deshpande, Vidwath Kaverappa, Upendra Yadav, Akash Deep, Yash Dayal, Rinku Singh
India ‘A’ Squad for the 3rd Multi-day Match: Abhimanyu Easwaran (Captain), Sai Sudharsan, Rajat Patidar, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Kumar Kushagra, Washington Sundar, Shams Mulani, Arshdeep Singh, Tushar Deshpande, Vidwath Kaverappa, Upendra Yadav, Akash Deep, Yash Dayal