Sourav, RP Singh to get match practice against New Zealand A
Chennai, Oct 2 (IANS) The last minute inclusion of Sourav Ganguly and Rudra Pratap Singh has lent a different perspective to the second four-day match between India A and New Zealand A commencing at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Friday.
Ganguly and R.P. Singh, included in the Indian senior team for the four-Test series against Australia starting in Bangalore next week, have been drafted into the 'A' team to gain match practice.
The two experienced campaigners has further strengthened the Suresh Raina-led India A team that won the first match by 129 runs Wednesday. While the composition of the Indian playing XI is still to be finalised, Ganguly and R.P. Singh are expected to be in the middle.
The presence of the two senior India players will make New Zealand's task doubly difficult as they hope to square the series.
The Kiwis were all but outplayed in the first Test that saw a fine century by Raina, whose turbo-charged innings of 146 off 130 balls effectively clinched the game for the hosts.
Despite the victory, the Indian batting did not exactly show up in good light and it was mainly due to the efforts of Raina and Murali Vijay (45 and 57) that helped the hosts to stay in front.
It was the Indian bowling that eventually did the trick as paceman Ashok Dinda took a five wicket haul in the second innings while leg-spinner Amit Mishra, included in the Indian Test side, and off-spinner Mohnish Parmar picked up wickets at crucial stages to scuttle the Kiwis.
New Zealand, in contrast, had their moments, but failed to press home the advantage, especially in the first innings when replying to India's 248, they collapsed from 179 for three to 189 for eight and were eventually all out for 230 thanks to some big hitting by the tail-enders.
From India's perspective, there are indications that promising batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, surprisingly kept out of the first game, might make it to the playing eleven.
The 20-year old Rajkot-born Pujara was the leading run scorer at the Under-19 World Cup and has to his credit a triple century in the under-14 category and also a double hundred against England Under-19 side.
The Indian squad, much less the playing eleven, would be finalised late Thursday night or Friday, it was announced.
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