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June 20, 2006
Robin Singh, coach of the India A team, felt that the team's upcoming tour of Australia for the Top End series next month would serve as an ideal opportunity to build reliable bench strength for the national side. India A will play a series of four-day and limited-overs matches against the A sides of Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia in Darwin and Cairns.
"It is basically an extension of what most of the cricketers had already proved", Robin told The Hindu before a week-long preparatory camp for the squad in Hyderabad. "India A tours are essentially feeder exercises which should help the country build a very strong senior team."
Robin indicated that recent tours such as the Eurasia Cup in Abu Dhabi have been instrumental in identifying fringe players and fast-tracking potential players into the big league when the need arises. For the upcoming tour, as many as seven out of the 15 players have already represented India. He said, "After the recent Abu Dhabi tournament, I had an useful interaction with India coach Greg Chappell and gave him important inputs on the players. And I am happy that three from that tour went on to play for India almost immediately.
"I have an eye on everyone. It is important that everyone in this team is ready to grab the opportunity. There is every possibility of slots coming up for grabs at any given point of time."
Robin also revealed that Venkatapathy Raju, former India left-arm spinner and Kanwaljit Singh, former Hyderabad offspinner, have been roped in to train the squad during the camp. "I had a word with Raju and having played with him, I know his worth. It should be a good experience for the boys too."
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