New Delhi: With an aim to prepare him for the Test format, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was on Monday named in the India A team for the two four-day matches against South Africa A, starting 4 August.
The selection committee meeting was held in Kolkata.
Chahal, who has been an automatic choice in the limited-overs format, has not played any First-Class cricket since December 2016 (against Haryana in Ranji Trophy), but the Indian team management and especially skipper Virat Kohli has indicated that he wants the wiry leg-spinner for five-day matches also.
The first of the two games will be played in Belgaum (4-7 August) followed by the second in Bengaluru (10-13 August).
It is widely believed that Chahal is being kept match-ready as the selectors have named senior squad for only three Test matches.
"The current team management want wrist spinners in their squad. Kuldeep-Chahal combination has worked pretty well in the limited overs. However, Chahal has not played too many First-Class matches (27 games, 70 wickets). This is an ideal opportunity to test him. Even if he is not picked for last two Tests against England, selectors might try him against West Indies at home," a source close to the selection committee told PTI.
There is a school of thought that Ravindra Jadeja will be slowly eased out of the longer version if Chahal is able to show his skills in the four-day games.
The four-day team will be led by Shreyas Iyer with most of the players, who were in England for the First-Class matches, being picked.
Among left-arm spinners, Axar Patel will play the first game while Shahbaz Nadeem will replace him in the second. The four pacers -- Rajneesh Gurbani, Mohammed Siraj, Ankit Rajpoot and Navdeep Saini are also there in the team.
The batting line-up comprises Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari -- all of whom enjoyed success in England.
For the quadrangular One-Day series involving South Africa A and Australia , Shreyas and Manish Pandey has been named captains of India A and B respectively.
Most of the fringe players have been selected along with IPL performers. Leg spinner Mayank Markande, who was the find for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2018, has found a place in the India A side.
The India B side has players like left-arm seamer Kulwant Khejroliya and left-arm spinner Dharmendra Jadeja, who have done well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The selectors also named India Red, Blue and Green teams for the day-night Duleep Trophy, starting 17 August.
Vidarbha's Ranji Trophy winning captain Faiz Fazal (Blue), veteran Parthiv Patel (green) and Abhinav Mukund (Red) have been named captains of the three teams respectively.
India A (for four-day games vs South Africa A) : Shreyas Iyer (captain), Prithvi Shaw, Ravikumar Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Hanuma Vihari, Ankit Bawne, Kona Bharat (wk), Axar Patel (1st game)/Shahbaz Nadeem (2nd game), Yuzvendra Chahal, Jayant Yadav, Rajneesh Gurbani, Navdeep Saini, Ankit Rajpoot, Mohammed Siraj.
For the Quadrangular Series
India A: Shreyas Iyer (captain), Prithvi Shaw, Ravikumar Samarth, Suryakumar Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Sanju Samson (wk), Mayank Markande, Krishnappa Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj, Shivam Mavi, Khaleel Ahmed.
India B: Manish Pandey (captain), Mayank Agarwal, AR Easwaran, Shubhman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Ricky Bhui, Vijay Shankar, Ishan Kishan (wk), Shreyas Gopal, Jayant Yadav, Dharmendra Jadeja, Siddarth Kaul, Prasidh Krishna, Kulwant Khejroliya, Navdeep Saini
For Duleep Trophy
India Blue: Faiz Fazal (captain), Abhishek Raman, Anmolpreet Singh, Ganesh Satish, N Gangta, Dhruv Shorey, KS Bharat (wk), Akshay Wakhare, Saurav Kumar, Swapnil Singh, Basil Thampi, B Ayappa, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni
India Red: Abhinav Mukund (captain), R.R. Sanjay, Ashutosh Singh, Baba Aparajith, Writtick Chatterjee, B. Sandeep, Abhishek Gupta (WK), S Nadeem, Mihir Hirwani, Parvez Rasool, Rajneesh Gurbani, A Mithun, Ishan Porel, Y Prithvi Raj
India Green: Parthiv Patel (captain & wk), Prashant Chopra, Priyank Panchal, Sudeep Chatterjee, Gurkeerat Mann, Baba Indrajit, VP Solanki, Jajal Saxena, Karn Sharma, Vikas Mishra, K. Vignesh, Ankit Rajpoot, Ashok Dinda, Atith Sheth.
SA A 'Tests': 1st 'Test' 4-7 August (Belgaum); 2nd Test: Bengaluru, 10-13 August.
Quadrangular Series dates: 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29 August (final).