Mumbai: Short of match practice, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane will captain the India A team for two warm-up matches against England at CCI here next week.

Dhoni, who has not played a competitive game in over two months, will lead the India A side in the opening warm-up here on January 10. Rahane, who is coming back from an injury, will captain the team in the second warm-up on January 12.

Teams picked the practice games comprise fresh faces as well experienced players, who are coming back from injuries or layoffs. Among the star attractions at CCI will be Dhoni, who will be playing his first match since stepping down from India’s limited overs captaincy.

The other big names to feature in the opening warm-up will be Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra, who both have made a return to the national team after a nine-month gap. The seasoned players last played for India in the World T20 in March.

Nehra in fact is yet to play a competitive game after sustaining an injury during IPL and subsequently undergoing surgery in the United Kingdom. He will be making a comeback after six months.

Hardik Pandya, who got injured during the Test series against England, has also been named in the A squad for the opening warm-up. He finds a place in both T20 and ODI teams for the England series. Young Delhi-wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who has impressed this Ranji Trophy season, has got his maiden India call-up.

The Rahane-led side for game on January 12 is full of domestic performers such as Deepak Hooda, Ishan Kishan, Vijay Shankar, Ashok Dinda, Vinay Kumar and Shahbaz Nadeem, who is the leading wicket-taker this Ranji Trophy.–PTI

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