India A favourites to win tri-seris final against Australia

September 25th, 2008 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 25 (IANS) Riding on two back-to-back victories, India A will be the favourites to win the tri-series cricket final against Australia A here Friday.The home team apparently learnt their lessons from their defeat against the Aussies in the first round of the tournament played in Hyderabad as they avenged the loss with a strong performance that they will be hoping to carry into the final.

The Indians Sunday had beaten New Zealand A, the third team in the competition, in a convincing fashion after making 305 and the win against the Aussies while chasing 273 further underlined their batting strength, although the openers failed yet again.

Though the Indian bowling attack at times appeared rather thin and ragged, the batsmen, especially the likes of Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Yusuf Pathan have more than made up for this shortcoming to carry the team through to the final.

The Aussies have more or less conceded the home advantage to the Indian team as their skipper Cameron White admitted the other day when he said: “On home pitches, the Indian team is always difficult to beat.”

In defeating Australia Wednesday, the Indian team showed definite signs of a side coming together as a fighting unit and the visitors will have to produce something extra on the morrow to pull off a victory.

The Australian campaign nearly went off rails at Hyderabad when they were shot out for 106 by the Kiwis before recovering to beat India and stay in the reckoning.

If Yusuf Pathan has been one of the mainstays of Indian batting, then so has been David Hussey for the Aussies who, despite boasting of a talented set of bowlers in Shaun Tait, Ashley Nofke and White himself, struggled to contain the hosts.

The placid nature of the pitch at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium here has also contributed to the string of big scores, but the ground staff has had little or no time to carry out repairs in view of the near continuous cricket played at the venue.

The conditions would be no different tomorrow when the batsmen are likely to dictate the course of the game yet again.

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

Australia A: Cameron White (captain), Phillip Hughes, Luke Ronchi, David Hussey, Marcus North, Adam Voges, Shaun Tait, Ashley Nofke, Xavier Doherty, Brett Geeves, George Bailey, Peter Forrest and Ryan Harris.

Umpires: T.R. Kashyappan and S. Ravi
Match Referee: Sambaran Banerjee.

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