India A v New Zealand A, first unofficial Test, 2nd day August 29, 2013

New Zealand A strike after Ronchi ton

ESPNcricinfo staff
30

India A 6 for 1 (Astle 1-4) trail New Zealand A 310 (Ronchi 125, Astle 63, Saxena 6-106) by 304 runs
Scorecard

A counterattacking century from Luke Ronchi helped New Zealand A recover from a precarious position and post a strong first-innings total in the first unofficial Test against India A in Visakhapatnman. New Zealand had been reduced to 106 for 6 at one stage, but Ronchi struck a total of 16 fours and four sixes during his 110-ball 125, and added 146 for the seventh wicket with Todd Astle to help the team recover to 310.

After the first day's play was called off due to rain, India began the second positively, and got opener Neil Broom run-out in the seventh over. The New Zealand batsmen tried to stabilise, but found it difficult to negotiate the offspin of Jalaj Saxena, who demolished the top order, dismissing Tom Latham, Carl Cachopa and Daryl Mitchell in quick succession to strengthen India's position.

Ronchi started the recovery job with a 50-run fifth-wicket stand with Jimmy Neesham, but two quick wickets soon after New Zealand crossed the 100-mark pushed the visitors to the brink. Neesham was caught by Unmukt Chand off Rakesh Dhurv for 27 in the 28th over, and in the very next, Saxena caught Derek de Boorder for a duck off his own bowling.

However, Ronchi and Astle turned the game around by batting for the next 32 overs. Ronchi upped the scoring and eventually finished his innings at a strike-rate of 113.63. He was well-complemented by Astle, who played the more patient hand, hitting seven fours during his 157-ball 63.

Medium-pacer Dhawal Kulkarni finally got the breakthrough for India by trapping Ronchi lbw in the 62nd over, but Mark Gillespie, batting at No. 11, gave the innings a final push by smashing three sixes during his 11-ball 21 to take New Zealand past 300. Saxena eventually finished with six wickets, but proved to be expensive, conceding 106 runs in 22.4 overs.

The day was to get worse for India, as Unmukt Chand, who had shone with the bat in the recently concluded Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore, was caught behind by de Booder off Astle in the second over to leave India at 6 for 1, still 304 runs behind.

Speaking after play, Ronchi said his team were in a fine position going into the final day, though the pitch was flat: "It was really good to make some runs from a personal point of view, but with the position we were in it was good to have a partnership there with Toddy. I think we're in a fantastic position with 300 on the board and them one down overnight. Now we've just got to focus on bowling well on a flat wicket and take our opportunities."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 30, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    It saddens me a little that Ronchi can't get a run in the test side of NZ. He's definitely an international-class player but he's wasted in the limited overs game. Frankly I wish he was still here in Oz - he could have kept in the Ashes. He's a safe pair of hands and I think he would have broken the record and probably made some decent runs on top of that.

  • Capricorn60 on August 29, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Again an Indian team shows a bowling ineptitude in not being able to polish off the opposition tail after initially getting early wickets & being on top. This frustratingly happens so very often - even on our recent A team tour to SA. Shows we really need decent pace bowlers at all levels - who can simply bowl MORE than just medium-pace - particularly in seam-friendly overseas conditions. Really hope we have some young fast bowling talent coming through at say the NCA or MRF Pace Foundation - otherwise we have to keep on relying on our batters to score a lot more additional runs to compensate for our weak bowling.

  • Nampally on August 30, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    The 3rd day's play resulted in brilliant centuries by Vijay Zol & Nayar. Zol has become Mr. Consistent & hopefully he will get an early break into Test Cricket unlike Pujara's belated selection for India. Zol has a sound technique, good stroke play & immense urge not to give away his wicket easily. Jiwanjot Singh, Chand & Rahul are 3 other youngsters who will be knocking at the door for the opening batsman's spot. Hopefully all these talented youngsters will play for India sooner than later. Bowling still seems to be the one area where India is lagging their own batting talent. In this match Jalal Saxena came up with 6 for--. The rest of the bowling was below average. There were no great finds from India A S.African tour either. Pandey, Rasool & Nadeem were the only 3 half decent bowlers. Mohit Sharma was the emerging talent from Zimbabwe tour along with A.Mishra. Will Pandey, Mohit Sharma & Mishra + Zol & Chand, be in the Indian squad for SA Tour? Their form must be exploited fully.

  • on August 30, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    I have big hopes from zol,looks a fantastic player and more importantly very consistent. chand on the other hand played well at jr level but finding it very hard at FC level.He also struggeled in IPL bcoz there were glaring technical defficiency in his batting.

  • on August 30, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    ZOL's talent is shining brightly

  • santhoo24 on August 30, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    this is really amazing. We have two completely different A sides, one which played in SA, and another one which is playing NZ. Both teams are doing great, and will have headaches in a happy way when picking a squad for international assignments.

  • on August 30, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Abhishek Nayar who had stupendous run in last year's Ranji trophy continues his purple patch.He also is good military medium bowler and can be useful on South African wickets as well as against England next year.he can be a back up seamer.Good that selectors have shown faith in him.

  • SVicious on August 30, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    There are some youngsters here that really need to given some opportunities to train with the Indian Senior Squad. Unmukt Chand - needs help to ensure that he is consistent; Vijay Zol - has been prolific in his scoring over this season and definitely must be picked even if its at a young age + he just made his 1st century (age should not be a barrier as Tendulkar and Kambli proved at their debuts); IC Pandey and Jalag Saxena both need a stint with the team as well; B. Aparajith as the all-rounder based on his abilities is showing great promise. India should pick players at this young age based on ability and promise. Exposure very early on is absolutely critical to continue the skills development, especially for Chand, Zol, Aparajith. When these kids are in form and showing great ability, they need to continuously be challenged. Nothing to do with catapulting young talent prematurely NOR is it about Ad campaigns, BUT merely recognising that talent needs nurturing and recognition.

  • SandipManjrekar on August 30, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    When I wrote about Vijay Zol few days back, it was termed as regional biased views. Few were so critics about him that they relates this being Maharashtrian. IND has few players who played exceptionally in overseas conditions. Vijay Zol was outstanding in down under as well as in island & in both short-long formats. He made debut in FC today after representing in U19 so far. He has reached his milestone now & made a hundred on debut. Player's calibre is judged by his skill, technique & temperament to hang on there as long as possible which makes flow of runs automatically from the bat. Vijay Zol is one of them. He should be selected in every A tour for getting more & more precious international experience.

  • SirSanty on August 30, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Good time for MP players...IC Pandey and Jalaj...outstanding performance. Lets see if these are given enough chances to prove themselves.

  • on August 30, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    It saddens me a little that Ronchi can't get a run in the test side of NZ. He's definitely an international-class player but he's wasted in the limited overs game. Frankly I wish he was still here in Oz - he could have kept in the Ashes. He's a safe pair of hands and I think he would have broken the record and probably made some decent runs on top of that.

  • Capricorn60 on August 29, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Again an Indian team shows a bowling ineptitude in not being able to polish off the opposition tail after initially getting early wickets & being on top. This frustratingly happens so very often - even on our recent A team tour to SA. Shows we really need decent pace bowlers at all levels - who can simply bowl MORE than just medium-pace - particularly in seam-friendly overseas conditions. Really hope we have some young fast bowling talent coming through at say the NCA or MRF Pace Foundation - otherwise we have to keep on relying on our batters to score a lot more additional runs to compensate for our weak bowling.

  • Nampally on August 30, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    The 3rd day's play resulted in brilliant centuries by Vijay Zol & Nayar. Zol has become Mr. Consistent & hopefully he will get an early break into Test Cricket unlike Pujara's belated selection for India. Zol has a sound technique, good stroke play & immense urge not to give away his wicket easily. Jiwanjot Singh, Chand & Rahul are 3 other youngsters who will be knocking at the door for the opening batsman's spot. Hopefully all these talented youngsters will play for India sooner than later. Bowling still seems to be the one area where India is lagging their own batting talent. In this match Jalal Saxena came up with 6 for--. The rest of the bowling was below average. There were no great finds from India A S.African tour either. Pandey, Rasool & Nadeem were the only 3 half decent bowlers. Mohit Sharma was the emerging talent from Zimbabwe tour along with A.Mishra. Will Pandey, Mohit Sharma & Mishra + Zol & Chand, be in the Indian squad for SA Tour? Their form must be exploited fully.

  • on August 30, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    I have big hopes from zol,looks a fantastic player and more importantly very consistent. chand on the other hand played well at jr level but finding it very hard at FC level.He also struggeled in IPL bcoz there were glaring technical defficiency in his batting.

  • on August 30, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    ZOL's talent is shining brightly

  • santhoo24 on August 30, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    this is really amazing. We have two completely different A sides, one which played in SA, and another one which is playing NZ. Both teams are doing great, and will have headaches in a happy way when picking a squad for international assignments.

  • on August 30, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Abhishek Nayar who had stupendous run in last year's Ranji trophy continues his purple patch.He also is good military medium bowler and can be useful on South African wickets as well as against England next year.he can be a back up seamer.Good that selectors have shown faith in him.

  • SVicious on August 30, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    There are some youngsters here that really need to given some opportunities to train with the Indian Senior Squad. Unmukt Chand - needs help to ensure that he is consistent; Vijay Zol - has been prolific in his scoring over this season and definitely must be picked even if its at a young age + he just made his 1st century (age should not be a barrier as Tendulkar and Kambli proved at their debuts); IC Pandey and Jalag Saxena both need a stint with the team as well; B. Aparajith as the all-rounder based on his abilities is showing great promise. India should pick players at this young age based on ability and promise. Exposure very early on is absolutely critical to continue the skills development, especially for Chand, Zol, Aparajith. When these kids are in form and showing great ability, they need to continuously be challenged. Nothing to do with catapulting young talent prematurely NOR is it about Ad campaigns, BUT merely recognising that talent needs nurturing and recognition.

  • SandipManjrekar on August 30, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    When I wrote about Vijay Zol few days back, it was termed as regional biased views. Few were so critics about him that they relates this being Maharashtrian. IND has few players who played exceptionally in overseas conditions. Vijay Zol was outstanding in down under as well as in island & in both short-long formats. He made debut in FC today after representing in U19 so far. He has reached his milestone now & made a hundred on debut. Player's calibre is judged by his skill, technique & temperament to hang on there as long as possible which makes flow of runs automatically from the bat. Vijay Zol is one of them. He should be selected in every A tour for getting more & more precious international experience.

  • SirSanty on August 30, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Good time for MP players...IC Pandey and Jalaj...outstanding performance. Lets see if these are given enough chances to prove themselves.

  • on August 30, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @Jared Hansen . I share your sentiments about Ronchi. I have seen him playing in India, including some of his practice sessions. It is a surprise, that he is not getting into the NZ Test team. All good T-20 players need NOT be bad TEST players! Though, the converse, quite often, turns out out be true!

    I feel the same way about the side-lining of Todd Astle, who has the making of a decent all-rounder. After playing him in just ONE disastrous test ( 2 runs & 1 wicket) he was sidelined. ONE test is too short a period to try and discard a player, especially a talented one!

  • on August 30, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster. Agree with you. Unmukth Chand is NOT Virat Kohli! Their talents are NOT at the same level. Let him play domestic cricket, prove, and come up through the ranks. How fast he comes up, depends entirely on him!

    We should stop this disastrous habit of catapulting very young talent, prematurely on to a pedestal. The Ad industry do the remaining part of the damage, too!

  • on August 30, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    @Jared Hansen . I share your sentiments about Ronchi. I have seen him playing in India, including some of his practice sessions. It is a surprise, that he is not getting into the NZ Test team. All good T-20 players need NOT be bad TEST players! Though, the converse, quite often, turns out out be true!

    I feel the same way about the side-lining of Todd Astle, who has the making of a decent all-rounder. After playing him in just ONE disastrous test ( 2 runs & 1 wicket) he was sidelined. ONE test is too short a period to try and discard a player, especially a talented one!

  • on August 30, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    @Jared Hansen . I share your sentiments about Ronchi. I have seen him playing in India, including some of his practice sessions. It is a surprise, that he is not getting into the NZ Test team. All good T-20 players need NOT be bad TEST players! Though, the converse, quite often, turns out out be true!

    I feel the same way about the side-lining of Todd Astle, who has the making of a decent all-rounder. After playing him in just ONE disastrous test ( 2 runs & 1 wicket) he was sidelined. ONE test is too short a period to try and discard a player, especially a talented one!

  • Naresh28 on August 30, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    Out of all the young players India has played recently, we might see U19 player VIJAY ZOL represent India sooner than later. This guy might be a "Ganguly" sort of player. Another is Lokesh Rahul. Still early to tell and I am sure the selectors will be grooming these guys for team India. Then speaking of young cricketers - what has happened to CHAND? Once hailed by Ian Chappell.

  • manav08 on August 30, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    well one of my dear friend is not well versed with the records and trying to tell something regarding other spinners. well He can have a look at the recent concluded A series in south africa where Shahbaz nadeem has come out with highest wicket taker and. ot to mention it is. being played in South africa . i dont want to mention about ipl performance coz i personally dont consider it a criteria for the selection in the indian squad but nadeem was the only indian bowler with an economy of below 6 ( precisely 5.88) only after Steyn the great and Naraine.

  • kiwicricketnut on August 30, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    selectors are a bit stuck, i think they would love to put ronchi in the test side but watling can't be dropped, he has been safe with the gloves and a rock with the bat. ronchi is a bit of a flat track bully but we saw in england that his technique is a bit shoddy and it was exposed by good bowlers over there so for me watling stays test keeper, with tom latham as cover on tour. absolutely pointless having deborder here, ronchi should keep with latham as cover how many keepers do we need to develop. hoping sohdi shines over here, he should be the test spinner, good luck to him

  • jimbond on August 30, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    Its unfortunate, but this is probably the highest level at which Jalaj Saxena will play. He is never going to be given a chance at the highest level. At the test level, though the Indian team is struggling for bowlers and allrounders, they will continue to stick to Ashwin (who is not exactly test material), and Jadeja (who succeeds only on spinning tracks). These contest of the A teams are great opportunities for the forgotten players like Saxena to show the selectors (and the general public) what they are missing. India has been lacking in allrounders for a long time now, and it would be great if the Indian board and selectors take good care of the ones who are available- such as Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, Rishi Dhawan, Jalaj Saxena, and Rasool. These five can be backbone of Indian team for the next five years. India can also follow some of the other teams in selecting different squads for the three formats- with the richness they have in terms of players.

  • BenGundry on August 30, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    NZ should have taken at least one specialist opener, it might have helped their top order last a bit longer and they need to groom someone for test duty as Fulton is getting on. Raval should have been on the tour.

  • on August 30, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    "Tale of the Tail" is becoming an iconic series production from the House of Indian Cricket! Latest episode was "successfully" shot in a historic locale with an exotic name, Vishakhapatanam!

    Or,

    Shall we rename the serial as "Scorpion Tail - The Nemesis of Indian cricket". Different episodes were shot and screened all over the World -- England, Zim, S. Africa. Why leave out India; hence shot at Vizag too.

  • Johnny_129 on August 29, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    Congrats to Saxena on an excellent performance. But I tend to wonder, on what grounds was he selected in the first place - The man has a bowling average of nearly 40 at FC level and even a batting average around 36 does not make a compelling case!! Perhaps good recent performance or selection bias may have played a part. As for Unmukt Chand, I feel if had been given a chance to progress earlier, given his talent, then he would not be in the rut that he is finding himself now - seems like the lack of progress has led to a bit of frustration and arrested development. He needs to keep scoring tons of runs consistently, like Bhadri did and hope his outcome will be unlike Bhadri's!

  • Chris_P on August 29, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    I thought NZ cricket was grooming Ronchi for keeping duties? He is actually quite an accomplished gloveman, as well as a devastating hitter down the order, good to see him get a score at this level.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 29, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    The problem with Chand is that he was catapulted into stardom at a young age. Not everyone can become a VIRAT KOHLI. Chand needs to make name for himself playing in Ranji cricket before he can even be considered for India's ODI team. Look at Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan. Those guys played a heck of a lot of first class cricket before donning the Navy Blue cap. It's time to put Chand's place in perspective. Over hyping of our cricketers has cost us in the past. I hope the Indian selectors don't fall into the same old trap again. We are the no.1 ODI team in the world, and we have what it takes to become the no.1 test team too. It's about getting the right players playing at the right time.

  • on August 29, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    jalaj saxena has performed soo well always for the india a team frm past couple of series. !! he is a very gud all rounder !! the only reason his stats look bad because he plays for madhya pradesh team which makes grass tracks for their home matches hence it wont suit off spinners like him and also his batting average is in 37 !! otherwise whn ever he played for india a team against much experienced international players he done quiet well and he is wayy better than likes of parveez rassol,piyush chawla,shahbaz nadeem !! taking wickets of domestic players aint great whn they do it against international players thts great !! he can be a great asset if selectors giv due credit to his performances in india a team !! by the way very poor captaincy by nayar !! how come aniket chaudhary enter the team whn much better pacers like imtiaz ahmed and srikanth wagh are benched ?? or he dropped them so tht his bowling figures will improve ??

  • salilj90 on August 29, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    I wouldn't call Jalaj Saxena the next big thing just yet. Indian conditions and overseas players is probably the most suitable setting for a spin bowler. So let's wait a little.

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 29, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    good job saxena keep it up

  • Army_rangers on August 29, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    I really dnt knw on what basis you are telling that chand shone in u23 tourney,except 1st 2 matches he was a complete failure..though he is talented very inconsistent..instead of him KL rahul should have played.

  • dirtydozen on August 29, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    chand should be dropped from the team for some time and should try to score more runs in ranji instead of ipl, from an average of 57 in 2010 he is now averaging 39 in fc . even in emerging asia cup he was able to score only a single half-century against pakistan . If he fails to perform then he must be one of the highly over-rated player in recent times. instead the selectors should have selected menaria, uthappa or jackson in his place.

  • on August 29, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    Jalaj saxena is the next big thing in Indian cricket ...watch it

  • EnglishCricket on August 29, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Ronchi does have the ability to succeed. If national team do not give players a long chance then the team will not get that far. He should still be picked for the coming tour to Bangladesh especially since Ryder won't be playing and some other key batsman has a serious injury.

  • EnglishCricket on August 29, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Ronchi does have the ability to succeed. If national team do not give players a long chance then the team will not get that far. He should still be picked for the coming tour to Bangladesh especially since Ryder won't be playing and some other key batsman has a serious injury.

  • on August 29, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    Jalaj saxena is the next big thing in Indian cricket ...watch it

  • dirtydozen on August 29, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    chand should be dropped from the team for some time and should try to score more runs in ranji instead of ipl, from an average of 57 in 2010 he is now averaging 39 in fc . even in emerging asia cup he was able to score only a single half-century against pakistan . If he fails to perform then he must be one of the highly over-rated player in recent times. instead the selectors should have selected menaria, uthappa or jackson in his place.

  • Army_rangers on August 29, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    I really dnt knw on what basis you are telling that chand shone in u23 tourney,except 1st 2 matches he was a complete failure..though he is talented very inconsistent..instead of him KL rahul should have played.

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 29, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    good job saxena keep it up

  • salilj90 on August 29, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    I wouldn't call Jalaj Saxena the next big thing just yet. Indian conditions and overseas players is probably the most suitable setting for a spin bowler. So let's wait a little.

  • on August 29, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    jalaj saxena has performed soo well always for the india a team frm past couple of series. !! he is a very gud all rounder !! the only reason his stats look bad because he plays for madhya pradesh team which makes grass tracks for their home matches hence it wont suit off spinners like him and also his batting average is in 37 !! otherwise whn ever he played for india a team against much experienced international players he done quiet well and he is wayy better than likes of parveez rassol,piyush chawla,shahbaz nadeem !! taking wickets of domestic players aint great whn they do it against international players thts great !! he can be a great asset if selectors giv due credit to his performances in india a team !! by the way very poor captaincy by nayar !! how come aniket chaudhary enter the team whn much better pacers like imtiaz ahmed and srikanth wagh are benched ?? or he dropped them so tht his bowling figures will improve ??

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 29, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    The problem with Chand is that he was catapulted into stardom at a young age. Not everyone can become a VIRAT KOHLI. Chand needs to make name for himself playing in Ranji cricket before he can even be considered for India's ODI team. Look at Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan. Those guys played a heck of a lot of first class cricket before donning the Navy Blue cap. It's time to put Chand's place in perspective. Over hyping of our cricketers has cost us in the past. I hope the Indian selectors don't fall into the same old trap again. We are the no.1 ODI team in the world, and we have what it takes to become the no.1 test team too. It's about getting the right players playing at the right time.

  • Chris_P on August 29, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    I thought NZ cricket was grooming Ronchi for keeping duties? He is actually quite an accomplished gloveman, as well as a devastating hitter down the order, good to see him get a score at this level.

  • Johnny_129 on August 29, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    Congrats to Saxena on an excellent performance. But I tend to wonder, on what grounds was he selected in the first place - The man has a bowling average of nearly 40 at FC level and even a batting average around 36 does not make a compelling case!! Perhaps good recent performance or selection bias may have played a part. As for Unmukt Chand, I feel if had been given a chance to progress earlier, given his talent, then he would not be in the rut that he is finding himself now - seems like the lack of progress has led to a bit of frustration and arrested development. He needs to keep scoring tons of runs consistently, like Bhadri did and hope his outcome will be unlike Bhadri's!