India v West Indies, ICC U-19 World Cup, Townsville August 12, 2012

Batting conditions not easy - Chand


If the first two matches are an indication of what is to come, bowlers at the Under-19 World Cup will be queuing up to bowl at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, and bowl first. England were shot out by Australia for 143 and on that same surface India were dismissed for 166 by West Indies. Both the chases, although successful, weren't easy either.

There's been swing and seam for the quick bowlers, and once the balls got older there was turn for the spinners too. The bounce was true on the first day, and extremely high, and it was variable on the second. Unmukt Chand, India's captain, spoke of the challenges of batting on such a surface after getting sent in by West Indies.

"The pitch was seaming a lot, really difficult to bat out there. The cracks had opened up and the ball was doing quite a bit after pitching," Chand said. "It was something we were not expecting."

After one opener fell in the second over, India's focus became survival until the conditions eased out. Runs slowed to a trickle, though, and the challenge was how long Chand and Baba Aparajith could remain calm under sustained pressure from the West Indian quicks. With experience, it becomes easier to assess the conditions quickly without feeling the need to score from the get-go.

"That was the test, it was very important to stay patient and be there for as long as we could," Chand said. "The ball wasn't coming on to the bat well, and I had a difficult time batting."

Aparajith cracked first, trying to hook a bouncer from Ronsford Beaton and gloving it to the wicketkeeper. Thereafter, dismissals occurred at frequent intervals as India's batsmen were continuously tested by pace and seam movement even during the middle overs.

"Yesterday's match was played on this wicket, it was a used wicket," Chand said. "That's why the cracks had opened up. If you look at the other wicket, it's not like this. The cracks were creating a lot of problems for us. Once the ball pitched there it used to either go up or along the ground."

Chand lasted up until the 20th over, facing 61 deliveries for his 22, compiled when batting conditions were the hardest. His innings was ended by Kyle Mayers, who came on second change but sustained the pressure built by the quicks before him. Mayers' first spell was 6-0-17-1 and he finished with 2 for 35 before a match-winning 43 earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.

"My role in the team is basically to bowl tight," Mayers said. "We have a lot of allrounders, especially medium-pacers who can bat a bit. My role mainly is to bowl tight, with the bat try my best and give it my all."

West Indies used a different length to attack India, when compared to the one Australia used against England. While Australia's fast bowlers were full most of the time, with the bouncer deployed as a surprise, West Indies were mostly back of a length, pinning the Indians in their crease before delivering the fuller ball.

Roddy Estwick, the West Indies coach, said the bowlers had "responded magnificently" to the plans prepared for India, after playing them in the subcontinent in September 2011.

"Anywhere in the world, when you look at Indian batsmen, they tend not to like short bowling," Mayers said. "It was alright for the wicket, because it had lot of bounce and pace."

A fresh pitch will be used for the game between Australia and Nepal on Monday, but Craig McDermott, the former Australian fast bowler, had said he'd been told that it would be quicker and bouncier than the ones that undid both England and India.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    All the best mate! Would love Indian U19 cricket team emerging winners on Aussie soil!

  • Ajay on August 13, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Dont worry Chand. Do your best given the conditions. All these criticisms will blow away. Be true to yourself and motivate your team to fight all the way.

  • Avais on August 13, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Don't worry Chand and co, have a good time there, go for some site seeing and do other fun stuff. If your ultimate goal is to play in IPL, you will not face wickets and bounce like this there. Don't bother to improve your technique. Home sick ? its OK, the way you boys are playing, will be home bound soon.

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    well said. dont blame conditions. Apply your self and score Runs. Bowlers cant defend poor scores kesav koundinya

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    The dream for all the U19 players was to play for Indian team, now its to play in IPL. 3 Seasons in IPL will earn them more than 10 years in international cricket. So how can we expect them to improve their game , technique. You cannot blame the players solely because BCCI seems to be picking players based on their performance in IPL rather than in Ranji or other tournaments. So what we have are players who are flat track bullies , zero technique , bowlers who don't/cant bowl 140+

  • A on August 13, 2012, 2:46 GMT

    its really sad to see the indian colts perform soo poorly.. they were all just happy to be on tv and trying to be stylish rather than play... smit patel got a fifty by playing for himself rather than the team... very very sad i really am goin to stop following the team.. after 40 overs when the score was just abt 120-130 instead of goin for big strokes the kids were still defending and playing for themselves.. if this continues indian cricket future is doomed..

  • Satish on August 13, 2012, 2:45 GMT

    Yes Chand.. The pitch was assisting bowlers.. But that is what we expect when we travel to Australia.. Should have been better prepared and succeeded.. Pick and extra seamer rather than banking on the spinners all the time..

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    None will pass the muster. Not even a Ganguly in the sight if not Dravid or Sachin. Will need to wait for decades that to happen.

  • Dummy4 on August 12, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    i saw the game online, and quite honestly i dont think any of them are likely to make it to the national team. it is true that the first twenty overs were hard to negotiate but the pitch eased out considerably after that. however there was no difference in india's batting from over 1-50 and most of the times forget stroke play but they could barely even get the bat to the ball.

    The second pace bowler who was bowling at 115-120 looked like a bunny on a fast bouncy australian wicket. heres a suggestion, go back to studies and find another career. Fast bowling is not your cup of tea.

    is this all we could find this year? i am sure there are better players in the country.

  • Avais on August 12, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    I watched the game, Chand was dropped twice in slips before giving a catch to keeper while fishing outside off stump. The bowler was bowling around 125 km/m , not really fast. There was no unexpected bounce, although it was a fast and bouncy track. Young man should iron out his technique, and should not be blaming wicket for his poor batting. Other opener mistimed a hook. One drop batter was bowled, palying a wrong line, and so on. Don't blame wicket, all of you are too young and too talented to pick up this bad habbit. I'm sure there is a Kohli among you.

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