11th Jul 2008 - MARGAO : Goa’s IPL star Swapnil Asnodkar today left for Isreal to represent India A in a series of three one-day matches against an Isreal Anniversary XI.
The three-match series, which will be played in Ashdod, will kick off on July 13 to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary. The India A squad is being skippered by Jaydev Shah, who led Saurashtra to the Ranji one-day title. Jaydev is the son of BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah.
Swapnil, who is an IPL winner for Rajasthan Royals, is keen to make an impression in Isreal to boost his chances of making it to the senior squad. “An India berth is my dream,” Swapnil confessed on the eve of his departure.
The Isreal tour could mark a turning point for Swapnil and if he can make a significant contribution, a spot in the senior squad may not be far away for the 24-year-old. However, for the time being, Swapnil has missed out on a berth in the 30-member Champions Trophy squad, which was announced by the BCCI on Tuesday. Therefore, the Isreal tour will be very crucial if Swapnil intends to make rapid strides at the international level.
Swapnil will play in the starting XI in Isreal, but a lot would depend on how successful he emerges in Israel.
The IPL has already unveiled his potential as an opening batsman and the Isreal tour could provide the selectors with another clue to unearthing more hidden talent from the India A squad for future national selections.
“I hope to do well as I am very determined to succeed,” the Socorro-based Swapnil added.
Swapnil has, however, harboured his hopes on making an impression in Ashdod as he has some useful knocks under his belt at the NCA, Bangalore where he prepared well ahead of the tour to Isreal. A couple of fifties in some side games in Bangalore allowed Swapnil to work up well under Parthiv Patel’s guidance and should keep him in good knick.
The diminutive opening batsman happens to be the only Goan to have played a successful part in the Indian Premier League and his selection for India A squad is ample testimony to the fact that he exudes talent.
Meanwhile, the Israeli players will line up alongside internationals Adam Bacher, Steve Herzberg, Roland Lefebvre, Jason Molins, Greg Molins, Jonty Rhodes and Bension Sagawker who have been invited to play for Israel.
India A squad for Israel: Jaydev Shah (captain), Swapnil Asnodkar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravi Teja, M Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha, Rajat Bhatia, Yogesh Takawale (wicketkeeper), Rakesh Dhruv, Mohnish Parmar, Vishal Bhatia, Basant Mohanty, Pradeep Sangwan, Ashok Dinda, R Vinay Kumar.
Source : http://www.navhindtimes.com/articles.php?Story_ID=071127