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June 14, 2012
The India A team on tour in the Caribbean has struggled to produce strong batting performances in the two unofficial Test matches against a relatively inexperienced West Indies A bowling attack. In the second match in St. Vincent, India A's batting line-up, which contains several India players, collapsed for 94 in pursuit of 220. They haven't scored 300 in four attempts on testing pitches.
However, the India A coach Lalchand Rajput said the batsmen had the technique to succeed. "Once they spend more time, the runs will start to come," he told Indian Express. "There is no fault in their technique. Just a matter of application."
The India A captain Cheteshwar Pujara was the only batsman to enjoy some success, scoring 214 runs with three half-centuries, one of which was during a successful chase in the first game in Bridgetown. The team's top order, however, failed with Abhinav Mukund, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan scoring 16, 28 and 30 runs in four innings.
"It is very important for the openers to score. They have not clicked so far," Rajput said. "We have the best batting line-up possible here and these boys have the ability to do well."
Rohit Sharma, who is competing for a spot in India's Test middle order, began the tour with 94 in his first innings, but scored only 37 runs in his next three. The pitches were not conducive for stroke play but Rajput said the batsmen needed to learn how to cope on such surfaces.
"Rohit, Rahane and Tiwary did fall prey to balls that just kept really low. The two tracks so far have been really challenging for the boys," he said. "If these boys have to succeed at the highest level, they have to be ready for such things."
The third unofficial Test will be played in Gros Islet from June 16. The three-match series is level at 1-1.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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