India’s preparatory camp for New Zealand series to begin from Monday

The Indian team will have a week-long preparatory camp in Mumbai from Monday ahead of the series against New Zealand without Rahul Dravid, who will be with the T20 squad. In another important development, VVS Laxman will replace Dravid as the Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

The Indian Express understands that Ravindra Jadeja had asked for a few days more rest and he is likely to join the Indian camp later. The Indian board hasn’t kept any secure bio-bubble for the camp but have advised players not to venture out and take precaution by not going in crowded places.

It’s been a long time since the BCCI has conducted a camp ahead of a series. The Test team for two Tests against New Zealand, in Kanpur and Mumbai from November 25, has already been announced. Ajinkya Rahane will lead in the first Test while Virat Kohli will return to captain in the second Test after a brief break.

Apart from Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, two wicket-keepers Wriddhiman Saha and KS Bharat, off-spinner Jayant Yadav, pacers Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Prasidh Krishna have been asked to report to Mumbai for the camp.

“With no red-ball cricket happening in the country, the BCCI felt it would be good if the players get some practice with the red ball before going for a Test in Kanpur. The BCCI was earlier planning to keep it in Bengaluru but as the team was about to fly from Mumbai to Kanpur, the camp was shifted here,” sources in the BCCI informed.

These players will be monitored by coaches and trainers of NCA, who will report to Dravid.

Laxman to replace Dravid at NCA

Former India batsman VVS Laxman is all set to replace Dravid as Head of Cricket at the NCA. Laxman was earlier hesitant to take over the job, however, sources in the Indian board informed that Dravid has convinced Laxman to come on board. The Indian board is now working on the monetary aspect with Laxman.

It is learnt that Laxman has now parted ways with the IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad too. Laxman didn’t reply to the text message sent by this paper.

The Indian board wanted a high-profile name to replace Dravid and felt Laxman would be best suitable. Laxman has been part of various coaching assignments before too. Apart from commentary, he has been part of the coaching set-up with SRH in IPL and was also the batting consultant to the Bengal team in the domestic championship.

Meanwhile, the BCCI has asked former India spinner Sairaj Bahutule, former Saurashtra batsman Sitanshu Kotak and former Assam player Subhadeep Ghosh to be in the coaching set-up with India A team on the tour of South Africa.

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