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Duncan Fletcher to tour with India A

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 16, 2013

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Acting captain Virat Kohli in conversation with Duncan Fletcher, India v Sri Lanka, tri-series, Kingston, July 2, 2013
Duncan Fletcher will watch India A play two unofficial Tests in South Africa © Associated Press
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Duncan Fletcher, India's head coach, will tour with India A for both of their unofficial four-day Tests in South Africa. The two matches are scheduled to be played in Rustenburg between August 17 and 20, and Pretoria between August 24 and 27. India A recently won a one-day tri-series also featuring A teams from Australia and South Africa.

Cheteshwar Pujara, the India A captain, was optimistic about his side's chances ahead of the two Tests. "Winning the ODI series has given us a confidence boost going into the four-day series," Pujara said. "We played really well throughout that series, except for a couple of close games against Australia that we lost."

South Africa A had an indifferent ODI series, finishing bottom of the table with just one win in four matches. Their captain, Justin Ontong, said it was vital that his team regrouped and moved on.

"We had a disappointing ODI series but in saying that I still think we played good cricket," Ontong said. "It was particularly hard for the bowlers on those sort of decks, but I think we took a lot of lessons from that experience.

"We are in a very good space as a unit," he said. "Our four-day disciplines are where we want them to be. We are encountering new opposition, so it is a new challenge for us, and also a new opportunity for players to put in some noteworthy performances."

Both captains expect dry, bowler-friendly conditions, a change from the placid pitches at the LC de Villiers Oval in Pretoria that produced tall totals in the one-dayers. "If it turns, it will be helpful for us because we are used to playing in turning conditions," Pujara said. "But let's see how it will turn out. We know conditions in South Africa normally suit the fast bowlers. We will have a better idea of our playing XI once they have trained in the conditions."

Ontong, who is better acquainted with the local wickets, said, "We know this type of wicket is different from the HPC (Pretoria) wicket. As a batsman, you are never in. The seamers and spinners are always in the game. It's going to be a huge challenge for the batsmen to construct their innings and put on big scores. Patience is going to be the key."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

ICC has to change the "A" team selection criteria. If a player has represented respective national team he should not be ineligible for "A" team selection. "A" teams should target only fringe & future budding players. Only then Cricket boards' would refrain from treating it as practice matches at the expense of future talents.

Posted by spot_on on (August 19, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

DK is better than Pujara if given chances! Let us see how Pujara copes up this december.

Posted by   on (August 18, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

@Blade Runner.... where are you? you seem to have vanished

Posted by svenkat02 on (August 17, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

I just keep getting more and more impressed with India's current selection panel. This selection panel has been almost on the spot with most of their decisions since they have taken over. Credit goes to the entire panel, not just to Sandip Patil who has been a very good coach before for Kenya, leading them to WC semis in 2003.

I have a very optimistic feeling that India is going to scare SA a lot this year end when they meet for the test series.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

Pujara proved his class again, he and Kohli are the real solid bats in Indian Lineup. Rest have to really fight it out in November

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

@Blade-Runner. You could have easily checked the background of the bower who got Shikhar out, and avoided the embarrassment for yourself. A good lesson for those who shoot their mouth off, too fast, in all their excitement!

Posted by bbnn on (August 17, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

Dhawan out to an off break bowler not to any swing or seam bowling we know how well he bat against off break bowlers usualy , one rare failure some people will be very active, funny ,very funny ...just bother about your new players we know how WELL they are playing!

Posted by hogwarts_cricket on (August 17, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

@Blade Runner: It just so happens that the bowler that Dhawan got out to was a spinner and not a seamer so your analysis about Dhawan's inability to play in seaming conditions comes to naught.

Posted by GRVJPR on (August 17, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

Just a one failure and critics are out. Give me another example where dhawan failed on a grassy surface in his international career. You are in too much hurry and it will not get you anywhere.

Posted by TheLastJeed on (August 17, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

I seriously hope DK get a chance in the 2nd unofficial test. lets be honest. Dhoni will be here for atleast another 5 years so the only way DK or saha can get into the team is for the elusive number 6 spot of dada, meant for specialist batsmen.

we need to see both of them in these important test format matches.

Posted by Blade-Runner on (August 17, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

Dhawan's inability to play the swinging ball on grassy wickets was exposed again. He tamely edged it to the 1st slip, as he has done it so many times. I don't expect him to last more than 2 deliveries against the likes of Philander, Steyn n Morkel. I think he should watch the videos of Thilan Samaraweera to learn how to play the SA big guns.

Posted by vsroc on (August 17, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

Posted by Venkat Sraman on (August 17,2013) Let us hope that our young boys will prove their worth to come out with flying colours.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

Dhawan OUT!!!

Posted by surepush on (August 17, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

Unfortunate that DK scores big and out if team it is regular always.

He was dropped once after getting a MOM. Now for no reason he is not there.

Hope he gets a chance in second one.

Posted by aero23v on (August 17, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

DK is not playing XI this is ridiculous . Just now he is coming good . Y saha instead? DK has good record in sa

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

correction: India A won the tri-series.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

i would like to see more bowlers to get selected and trained... our batting deprtment is talented ... nw v ned to have a qulty bwling atack wit atlest 5-10 bckup bowlers ..

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

i think we should all be thanking dunchan fletcher..he has been silently doing his job...hats off to this guy...i feel he is the most under rated person in the indian team right now...

Posted by sony_sr on (August 17, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

The last thing we want is slow turning wickets. For that we don't have to spend money and go to south africa :) Winning in this series is not important. Priority is filling the vacancies in senior team. If we can find 2 middle order batsmen and 1 back up seamer, it can be considered as a success.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 17, 2013, 4:42 GMT)

India have been superb as a ODI team and are clearly the world's BEST. However, they will only be a complete force IF their test credentials improve. This tour to SA will be an acid test for many players. Arguably, this will be Tendulkar's final overseas tour. Also, this tour shall determine who will play for India in test matches through the next decade. This is a splendid move from the BCCI; sending in Fletch to monitor the boys. Being a Zimbabwean, he would certainly know a lot about South African conditions. Also, he has had some good success with the England team in the past where they have had good tours to SA. This will help our young team immensely. I wish the Indian boys good luck. This tour will toughen them up and make them complete cricketers.

Posted by Rohit... on (August 17, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

Test match is where the real SA condition will flourish.... In ODI they made flat wickets, but in 4 day test, the real nature will be shown even if they initially opt for flat wicket.

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (August 17, 2013, 1:46 GMT)

what type of pitch., the same flat batting paradise? What is the use of playing those kind of pitches?

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 0:20 GMT)

A Zim talent helped England "Flower", in international cricket in recent years. Yesterday's batting of England Lions also showed that Zim provided "Ballance" to England.

Hope Duncan of Zim will give the necessary guidance for India-A to 'flower' in South Africa and provide 'balance' in the judgement of a young Captain Pujara and his boys. The fledgling team can benefit from the Fletchering coaching! Hopefully! Or,perhaps the hunger of the new 'Youngistan' cricketers will find their own feet. May be through some trial & error (and a wee bit of tribulations). Bodes well for future.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 17:58 GMT)

Exciting bunch of players!! Among many others, am also curious abt Murali Vijay(Monk)...was so compact and sound in that tour against Australia..Hope he was also a good long term find. (May be even in shorter formats also..:) )

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

it's an excellent move to send Fletcher with A team. but whether it would be useful or not ll b based on the wickets we get. Hopefully team india sd get typical SA wickets so that quality of our batsmen to handle can be assessed.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

Batting looks good but missing Manoj Tiwary he is serious contender for test team..

wish the selectors would have give change to Sudeep Tyagi,Varun Aaron,RP Singh and Praveen kumar so that we will have good fast bowlers back like england has

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

this shows how keen indians are to win the test match.................

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

With apologies to Shikhar, I should say, among the three A-Teams, as a pair, South Africa had the best & consistent opening pair of batsmen. (India experimented & Australia was "inconsistently good" -- though it is an oxymoron, in that dept.)

For opening bowlers, Hazelwood & Coultier-Nile were way ahead of their counterparts.

So, both SA ( because of the Tri-series results), and India (for multiple reasons -- including getting a Indian type of pitch in that tourney) have matters to be settled and proved ( proved at least to themselves)

Posted by Scrop on (August 16, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

Good Move. It makes a lot of sense for Fletcher to be with A team when National team is not playing.

Hope this pays off during India's tour of SA later this year.

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