City cricketer Prashant Chopra, who represents Himachal Pradesh in the domestic circuit, along with teammate Nikhil Gangta and Punjab medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma, have been included in the group of 30 players selected for the India under-23 camp to be organised by BCCI in Bangalore from June 5.
With their inclusion, the number of regional players selected in the month-long camp becomes four; Chandigarh batsman Manan Vohra has also made it to the probables list. At the end of the camp, a final squad will be selected that will take part in the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) Emerging Trophy.
A former India U-19 player, he was part of the 2012 Youth World Cup-winning squad. The wicketkeeper-batsman also made his Ranji Trophy debut the same year, scoring a total of 221 runs, including one century and one half-century, from six matches.
In the last year’s edition of the tournament, the 21-year-old improved on his previous performance by garnering 486 runs, including two fifties, from eight matches.
Chopra was also selected in the national U-23 team for the 2013 ACC Emerging Trophy, which India went on win, though he did not get a match to play. Chopra also represented Himachal in the North zone leg of 2013-14 Vijay Hazare Trophy, scoring 213 runs from his four matches, including an unbeaten ton against Punjab. Earlier this year, he debuted in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (North Zone) and made 120 runs, including a 90 against Punjab, from five matches.
The 21-year-old Patiala bowler finished as the highest wicket-taker for Kings XI Punjab, and fifth overall, in the just concluded IPL 7. Teaming up with international Australian bowler Mitchell Johnson, Sharma provided KXIP with early breakthroughs and his scalps included big-hitters like Chris Gayle, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir. Sandeep’s exploits also earned him two Man of the Match awards. With an action more or less fashioned on that of India pacer Praveen Kumar, Sandeep first rose to prominence during the 2012 Under-19 World Cup, where his four wickets in the final propelled India to the title and made him the joint highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 12 scalps.
Since 2011, Sandeep has been a regular member of Punjab Ranji team, and last season finished with 36 wickets from eight matches.
The 21-year-old right-handed batsman has been representing Himachal Pradesh in Ranji Trophy since 2012-13, and till now, played six matches. His total run-tally stands at 320, including one fifty and one hundred. He has also played five List A matches, and collected 207 runs, including two fifties.