Jalaj Saxena added to India A squad as cover for K Gowtham
Jalaj Saxena

Allrounder Jalaj Saxena has been added in India A squad for the first unofficial Test against South Africa A starting Monday in Thiruvananthapuram, the BCCI announced on Sunday. Saxena has been brought in as a cover for K Gowtham, who is currently unwell and remains under the watchful observation of the BCCI’s medical team.

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Such has been Saxena’s exploits in the Indian domestic circuit over the years, that every match he plays, the allrounder invariably achieves one milestone or another.

In the season opener of the 2019-20 season, the Duleep Trophy, Saxena claimed 3/57 in the first innings for India Blue against India Red en route to completing 300 first-class wickets, making him the only uncapped Indian to score 6,000 first class runs and claim 300 wickets.

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Overall, Saxena now finds himself in the elite company of CK Nayudu, Vinoo Mankad, Vijay Hazare, Lala Amarnath and Kapil Dev, to name a few, who have achieved this rare double. In February this year he was able to add two matches to his India A tally of four and was then picked up by Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Capitals. Even though he did not get a game, being part of the set up was a privilege for Saxena.

Last season, Saxena became the only player in Ranji Trophy history to score a century and claim an eight-wicket haul in an innings in a single match on two occasions. This put him in the elite company of the likes of WG Grace, Frank Tarrant and Frank Woolley to achieve this rare double in first-class cricket.