India A in New Zealand 2012 September 3, 2012

'Foreign tours positive for Indian cricket' - Rajput

ESPNcricinfo staff

Lalchand Rajput, the India A coach, has praised the BCCI for arranging more overseas tours for the side, as it exposes India's future cricketers to different conditions for their all-round grooming. The India A squad is about to embark on a tour of New Zealand, which begins on September 18, after playing in the West Indies in June this year.

"The BCCI is doing a great job to send 'A' tour abroad more often," Rajput said. "These are the players who are the bench strength of the Indian team. Once these players go to other countries and get accustomed, and when they play for the country and tour, they are well-prepared."

The squad has assembled at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore for a training camp and Rajput was confident that the preparation would benefit ahead of the tour. The India A team that toured the West Indies had missed out on practice and that had reflected in their 2-1 loss in the unofficial Test series.

"We just had two days (before the West Indies tour), and we never had any practice games in the West Indies because it was raining, so we straightaway went to the Test match. There is no excuse, but I think a camp prepares you better for a tour. We are preparing as per New Zealand conditions, so it is good we are in Bangalore because it is as similar to New Zealand as possible. The main aim is to develop all our players to perform in New Zealand conditions.

"Any outstation tour is difficult. But I am sure the players are well prepared now, because when you go on away tours you must be mentally strong and that is the key for success."

The side includes Unmukt Chand, the captain of the Indian team that won the Under-19 World Cup in Australia. Rajput said the performance in the 'A' side would be a step in the right direction as these tours acts as a bridge between the Under-19 and the international levels of the game.

"You can't directly jump from Under-19 to senior team; there are steps to take. There is a process, and I think India A is part of the process. So you get success in India A and go to the Indian team.

"Chand is a very strong player. This is a real test for him. I am sure that if he can pass this course, next step is Indian team."

Yet, he said, the performances in the 'A' tours would ideally have to be backed by atleast a season of domestic cricket. "To judge a player, it is very important to play at least one season of first-class cricket. It could be Elite or Plate group, but one season of first-class makes them mature. They know what's coming at that level, and they are mentally better prepared."

India A is scheduled to play three one-dayers and two unofficial Tests in New Zealand.

India A squad: Abhinav Mukund (capt.), Naman Ojha (wk), Mandeep Singh, Anustup Majumdar, Unmukt Chand, Ashok Menaria, Ambati Rayudu, Suryakumar Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Akshay Darekar, Vinay Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Jalaj Saxena, Rahul Sharma, Rituraj Singh and Jaydev Unadkat

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  • Naresh on September 6, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    @nampally well said. Some of these U19 players need to be inducted into the A-team following performances there they could reach the senior team. If Chand is ready he could leap frog after his A -team trip. I believe that Sandeep Sharma was the key to U19 victory and very little was highlighted on that U19 WC win.

  • Dummy4 on September 6, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Certain u19 players like Baba, Sharma, Harmeet and even Smit shud be taken under the wing of BCCI and they skills developed further thought the National Cricket Academy, thy FAMILIES shud receive SPONSORSHIP MONIES so they families dont struggle to keep these kids at the Academy. We forget how expensive it is to support youngsters in sports, in UK they wud be taken care of properly but this is INDIA where ppl win SILVER in an Olympics but family so poor thy cant even watch the event or even know of the medal, this is the sad state of affairs of sport in India. Sports Minister needs to put in support structures to help those looking to make a career in sport.

  • Nandu on September 6, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    Very happy to see Unmukt Chand included. Would have been even happier to see Baba Aparajit, Harmeet Singh, Smit Patel and Sandeep Sharma (did anyone see how much he swung the ball?) included as well. Since they recently played in Australia, NZ wouldn't be too different and they could be tested against almost Test level players without the pressure of the Test matches.

    A Team tours should be better used to introduce these bright prospects to international level cricket. I had started typing this without reading many comments and am glad to see Hotu Chainani feeling the same way as I do.

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    all the best to indian A team and best wishes anustup majumdar..............india's next no. 6 guys.....................sorry mr .rockcityguy its ITS MR ANUSTUP MAJUMDAR AGAIN BEST WISHES FOR HIM.........................

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    Awana reallyood to see shud be in this squad, ws very good in WI, gud to see Rituraj in squad as he hs done very in domestic. prob in India is we hve sme re gud India A selections n then sme real duds...but Selectors will/tend to overlook India A in selecting squads which doesnt make any sense, what is point of India A? If BCCI were proactive thy wud hve concerntrated more on IndiaA team esp tours all around the year and build players for the future

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Awana, Aron and Harmeet Singh must have been given chance in A ream. Harmeet is better than any other left arm orthodox spinner in the world. His control and variation are second to none. Bring him in.

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    The team selection is flawed. They could have done better. Sandeep Sharma, Aparajith, Harmit Singh, and Smit Patel, from the under 19 squad, should have found a spot in the A team. Parvinder Awana and Varun Aaron are glaring omissions in the fast bowling department. Jaydev Undakat, Naman Ojha and a few others could have been omitted.

  • Alex on September 5, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    it's impossible to fit everyone into an A team but varun aaron and awana are missing, manish pandey and akshath reddy are missing to. does badri really need more A team cricket? selectors should already know what he can do and he's already experienced enough so let some young guys get a chance to get some experience and show their ability.

  • Ashok on September 5, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    Indian "A" Team tours are very good way of developing young talent. They should be the intermediate step between the U-19 & Test Matches. Also all the India A players should not be older than 25 years to implement such a comcept purposefully. . In my opinion apart from U.Chand, V.Zol, Aparajith, Sandeep Sharma & Harmeet should have been in the squad. Sandeep is one of the best swing bowler u-19 had and he took wickets as well as bowl accurately. Above all he was swinging the ball prodigiously around 130 kph.Aparajith an excellent all rounder prospect , & Harmeet a second B.Bedi. Of course Chand is a superb opening bat & Zol a very talented young batsman.There are at least half a dozen players in the present A team squad who are questionable choices. By choosing these U-19 guys in the squad it would hve been a meaningful tour for them after their success in Australia.Sadly BCCI seem to have no goals or objectives when they select any India squad - Either Test or India A. What a Pity!.

  • Kavin on September 4, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    Naman Ojha? He is already 30 years old....and still A team? Smit Patel should have been there in the team...considering the fact that Dhoni is already 30 and we'll need a new young exciting keeper.

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