The Board of Control for Cricket in India has named Akshay Wadkar as the replacement for wicket-keeper batsman Abhishek Gupta in the India Red squad for Duleep Trophy after realising their blunder of picking a player banned for a doping violation till September 14.
The selectors had picked Gupta in the Indian Red squad for Duleep Trophy, scheduled to take place from August 17 to September 8. According to a revised statement by the BCCI, selectors were not even aware of Gupta's suspension.
"It was brought to notice by the BCCI Anti-Doping team that Mr. Abhishek Gupta who was initially added in the India Red squad is serving an 8-month ban for a doping violation. The Senior Selection Committee has reached a consensus that Mr. Akshay Wadkar will be included in the India Red team as Mr. Gupta's replacement," said the BCCI.
Wadkar is a wicket-keeper batsman from Vidarbha, the reigning Ranji Trophy champions. He has played six first-class games besides nine List A appearances.
In June, Gupta was handed a retrospective eight-month suspension for an "inadvertent" doping violation. The 27-year-old's suspension started from January 15 and will end on September 14.
Gupta had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance (terbutaline), which can be commonly found in cough syrups, the BCCI had said back in June, accepting the player's version of the incident.
The selectors met in Kolkata yesterday to pick the squads for Duleep Trophy. Faiz Fazal will captain India Blue, Abhinav Mukund will lead India Red and Parthiv Patel will skipper India Green.
Gupta has played six first-class matches, six List A games and nine T20s.
Taide, Shah hit centuries as India U-19 dominate Day 1
Top-order batsmen Atharwa Taide and Pavan Shah hit big hundreds as India Under-19 amassed 428 for four against Sri Lanka Under-19 on the opening day of the four-day second Youth Test in Hambantota, on Tuesday.
Opener Taide, who had slammed 113 in the first Youth Test last week, blazed his way to 177 off 172 balls.
His knock was studded with 20 hits to the fence and three sixes, demoralising the Sri Lankan bowlers after India skipper Anuj Rawat won the toss and elected to bat.
After Rawat was cleaned up by Senarathne for 11 in the 12th over, Taide and No. 3 Shah added 263 runs for the second wicket to take India past the 300-mark.
After Taide was dismissed by V Viyaskanth in the 58th over, next batsman D Padikkal (6) was run out cheaply in the 66th over, as the visitors slipped to 331 for three.
Debutant Aryan Juyal (41) cracked a 61-ball 41 with the help of six boundaries as he and Shah shared a 76-run partnership.
Juyal was dismissed in the 81st over when Viyaskanth and Fernando combined to run him out.
At the draw of stumps, Shah was unbveaten on 177 and giving him company was Nehal Wadhera (5). Shah hit 19 boundaries in his 227-ball knock.
India U-19 had dominated the first Youth Test as they won by an innings and 21 runs.
India U-19 1st innings: 428-4 in 90 overs (A Taide 177, P Shah 177; V Viyaskanth 1/80).
Siddesh Lad keen to learn from coach Dravid
Young Mumbai batsman Siddhesh Lad is keen to learn from team coach Rahul Dravid when he turns out for India A in the upcoming quadrangular limited over series.
"I will get to learn a lot from him (Rahul Dravid) and I will try to learn as much as possible from him," Lad said.
The quadrangular series, featuring India 'A', Australia 'A', South Africa 'A' and India 'B', begins on August 17 at Vijaywada with the final scheduled on August 29.
Lad, 27, who has risen in stature as the crisis man for Mumbai, made his first class debut against Punjab in 2013.
But this is the first time he has made it to the India 'A' squad.
South Africa's de Bruyne wants to nail number three spot
Theunis de Bruyn has set his sights on becoming South Africa's permanent number three, the 25-year-old said after proving his credentials during his team's comprehensive defeat against Sri Lanka on Monday.
The right-hander displayed exemplary focus and application, apart from his technical solidity, to register his maiden test century, also the first by a South African batsman in the two-Test series.
He collaborated with Temba Bavuma to raise South Africa's first century-stand in the series as the spin-tormented Proteas finally breached the 150-run mark in the second innings in Colombo though it was not enough to avoid a 2-0 whitewash.
"For me, it does make a difference batting at number three," said de Bruyn whose 101 off 232 balls was also the longest innings in terms of deliveries faced in the spin-dominated series.
"I've batted there my whole career, even as a youngster. The waiting game when you're batting at six and seven mentally drains you."
"I don't know, I'm not used to it. But I wanted to do really well batting at number three. It's a place I really cherish and I'd like to make it my own one day if I get more opportunities."
De Bruyn debuted as an opener in New Zealand last year and batted at number six and seven in his next four Tests before the match in Colombo.