Confident India A look to maintain momentum against New Zealand

September 20th, 2008 - 4:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 20 (IANS) India A hope to carry forward their form when they face New Zealand A in the second round of the tri-series also involving Australia A at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here Sunday.The Indians, led by Subramaniam Badrinath, kept themselves in the reckoning by defeating the Kiwis at Hyderabad, the venue of the first phase of the competition that involves fringe players and also those on the mend or comeback.

The Kiwis currently head the table on better Net Run Rate (+0.771) while the Indians are in second place with a NRR of -0.275 followed by the Aussies (-0.558). All the three teams are level on points (four apiece) with a win and a defeat each.

At Hyderabad, Australia, after beating India via Duckworth/Lewis method in a rain-affected game, crashed to a humiliating defeat to the Kiwis, who in turn lost to the hosts resulting in a tie on points among the three teams.

From India’s perspective, the tri-series, though being played on home grounds, has failed to throw up any outstanding performer with the front-runners seeking to cement their berths in the national team failing abysmally save Badrinath and Yusuf Pathan, the only batsmen with a half-century apiece and young leg-spinner Piyush Chawla who picked up three for 43 against the Kiwis.

The likes of openers Robin Uthappa and Swapnil Asnodkar (of IPL fame), middle-order batsmen Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma, wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, bowlers Irfan Pathan and Praveen Kumar, have not exactly set the turf on fire, but would be hoping to make up in the second round of the matches here.

India will then clash with Australia Wednesday and Australia will take on New Zealand Monday.

The performances of two Aussies, fast bowlers Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger, both members of the senior team scheduled to tour India next month, will be keenly watched.

Also being monitored are wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi, who struck a match-winning century against the Indians at Hyderabad, fast bowler Shaun Tait, on a comeback trail, and all-rounder Cameron White, who was distinctly unlucky to miss out on the India tour next month.

The Kiwis, despite the loss to India in their second game at Hyderabad, would still be high on confidence in the wake of their huge win against Aussies who were dismissed for 106 with off-break bowler Jeetan Patel claiming four wickets.

The teams (from):
India A: Subramaniam Badrinath (captain), Robin Uthappa, Swapnil Asnodkar, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Piyush Chawla, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Abhishek Nair, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Wriddhiman Saha and Jaydev Shah.

New Zealand A: Peter Fulton (captain), Brent Arnel, Neil Broom, Grant Elliot, Mark Gillespie, Martin Guptill, Greg Hay, Martin McCullum, James Marshall, Michael Mason, Jeetan Shashi Patel, Aaron Redmond, Bradley Scott, Reece Young and Bradley-John Watling.

Umpires: M.R.Singh, S.Das and Amarjit Kaypee

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