India A banking on strong batting

Bridgetown, Barbados – India A have done their homework and will look to hit the ground running when they face West Indies A in the opening Digicel four-day Test match on Saturday.

The visitors got a taste of condition at Kensington Oval on Thursday and Friday afternoon, and appear all set for the opening day on Saturday. First ball is 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).

Coach Lachland Rajput expressed confidence after having a look at what appears to be a placid surface.

“The players are just coming out of the IPL (Indian Premier League) so they will look to switch from the T20 mode to the four-day mode. This is a different format of the game but the players know how to make the adjustment and all will be ready for the start,” the former India batsman said.

“All our boys are matchfit and played well in the IPL. We have a good mixture of experience and some youth and everyone is excited to get onto the field with the first match starting at this magnificent and historic ground. Kensington Oval has not been a happy hunting ground for Indian teams over the years, but we hope to turn that around over the next four days.”

Rajput outlined that the strength of his team was in the batting. The leading players are the highly rated Rohit Sharma, who was dominant in the DIgicel One-Day Series when he toured the West Indies last year.

The team also includes openers Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan, who both toured the Caribbean last year; as well as the classy Ajinkya Rahane. The bowling attack is headed by the tall leg-spinner Rahul Sharma as well as seamer Ashok Dinda.

“The batting is our strength, but the players know they will have to get accustomed to the pitches. We have some quality batsmen who are capable of getting big scores, and who will be looking to get into the Indian team,” said Rajput, who played two Tests and four ODIs in the 1980s.

“We have some lively medium-pacers in our bowling and we also expect a lot from Rahul with the ball. Allround we have a good team and we are looking ahead to the matches.”

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 15:06