Mumbai, Oct 29: Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina will be under the spotlight as India A face England in a three-day warm-up match at Brabourne Stadium from Tuesday. You can call it the battle of left-handers. Raina, leading India A and Yuvraj will be fighting for that number six spot in the forthcoming Tests against Alastair Cook's side.
Raina was part of India's last Test series at home, against New Zealand. Whether he will continue to enjoy the faith by the new selection committee, headed by Sandeep Patil or will they go with Yuvraj is still not certain.
Over the next three days, both Raina and Yuvraj will have a chance to make an impression ahead of the first Test in Ahmedabad on November 15.
Yuvraj, who made his comeback to the Indian team in the shortest format of the game, showed he is ready for the rigours of five-day cricket too by smashing a double hundred for North Zone recently in Duleep Trophy.
Raina had a horrendous tour of England last year and lost his Test cap after that. However, he came back for the home series against Kiwis and managed just only half century in three innings. The other two visits to the crease ended with single-digit scores of 3 and 0.
Raina has to score big in Mumbai to retain his spot while Yuvraj might just be ahead in the race at the moment after that double ton.
This tour game is also a chance for host of other youngsters to shine against an international side. Opener M Vinay, Manoj Tiwary, Abhinav Mukund, Ambati Rayudu and other batsmen have a big chance.
In bowling, Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda and Vinay Kumar are likely to get the nod in the playing XI.
It will be a big opportunity for Bengal right-arm paceman Dinda to push his case for Test selection after having played in the shorter formats.
There had been a lot of debate the non-inclusion of a specialist spinner in India A squad. The selectors were in clear in not exposing things which will be on offer for English batsmen.
England will welcome back their star batsman Kevin Pietersen. After having been ignored for few months over his controversial text messages to South African players, Pietersen will be looking to hit form early ahead of four Tests.
England will have two more practice games before the first Test. While they will be focusing on getting the best XI for Ahmedabad Test, India's eyes will be on Yuvraj and Raina.
India A: Suresh Raina (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Ambati Rayudu, M Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, Manoj Tiwary, Robin Bist, Ashok Menaria, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda, Vinay Kumar, Parvinder Awana
England: Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Eoin Morgan, Monty Panesar, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior (wicketkeeper), Joe Root, Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott.