India A v NZ A, 2nd unofficial Test, Vizag, 3rd day September 4, 2013

Juneja ton keeps India fighting for lead

ESPNcricinfo staff

India A 408 for 7 (Juneja 178*, Jagadeesh 91, Bracewell 3-75) trail New Zealand A 437 (Devcich 115, Anderson 100, Kulkarni 3-53) by 29 runs

Manprit Juneja's fifth first-class century helped India A end the third day of the unofficial Test in Visakhapatnam within a touching distance of New Zealand A's first-innings total. Juneja was unbeaten on 178 and with only three wickets remaining, he will be key on the fourth morning if India are to take the lead.

India trailed by 343 at the start of the day but Juneja and VA Jagadeesh, the overnight batsmen who had stabilised the innings on the third afternoon after the early losses, helped the home team progress past 200. The two shared a stand of 197 for the third wicket before Doug Bracewell dismissed Jagadeesh nine short of what could have been his seventh first-class century.

It took another 18 overs, however, for New Zealand to make the next strike as Juneja scripted an 88-run stand with his captain Abhishek Nayar, who reached his half-century in quick time. Nayar, fresh from his century in the previous match, needed only 55 deliveries for his 57. But New Zealand clawed back with a couple of wickets in quick succession when Bracewell picked up his third and Corey Anderson had CM Gautam caught behind.

However, Juneja found adequate support from the lower order and he added 37 and 33 with Jalaj Saxena and Shrikant Wagh. He went onto frustrate New Zealand during the last 15 overs of the day with an unbroken 34-run partnership with Dhawal Kulkarni, who played out 50 balls for his 4.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Just rubbish. Boring matches on a dead placid wickets with lots of centuries. dont see any use of it. Secondly it proves that Indian bowling is just pathetic. A land with thousandtimes more population than Newzealand and not a single bowler who can bowl 140+...

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Whats the use of the test matches on flat tracks? We should groom youngesters on Aussie type of pitrches where bowl would swing and moment World cup venue is decided, BCCi should ask groundsmen to prepare seamer friendly wickets for dometic cricket so that they can be groomed for upcoming world cup. We should have a strong base but not for only flat tracks. On these flat tracks, even Sir Jadeja hits triple ton whoc cant even see the bowl while playing seamers on seamer friendly pitches.

  • bhu on September 5, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    M juneja is a very good player showing on his 1st class avg and recent showing against NZ. But India needs to help these kids become better and world class by sending them overseas to play in other countries for a season or 2 of first class games in those countries to learn different training regimes and different pitches and different intensities. This will prepare them for future when they play test and know how to adjust to different conditions and different players etc.

  • Jayaesh on September 5, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    king_julien , i agree with you that Juneja is not cut our for IPL, he looked out of his depth batting for DD at this season's IPL , It will be good for Juneja,Indian cricket and the franchisees not to have him play IPL , but then you can't blame the likes of Pujara and Juneja for having the burning desire to prove themselves in all three formats and resist attempts to pigeonhole them as a Test specialist.

  • Naresh on September 5, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    @cpt.meanster - well put, India will have selection headaches with the amount of talent coming thru - especially in the batting/spin bowling departments. As an Indian cricket fan its nice to know and we can overcome the departure of the senior stalwarts. I must admit I did not know Juneja's first class average was 72 and only after the following the score on cricinfo, I decided to look it up. Longevity (no of balls faced) will hold some players better suited to Tests.

  • Pravin on September 5, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Manpreet seems to have the appetite for big scores, someone not satisfied with just a century but usually gets a big score. A very good temperament indeed. If he does keep performing like this, he should be included in test team after 2-3 more seasons. (not more, not less) . He's not built for the IPLs, hope BCCI stops picking players on IPL form.

  • Steven on September 5, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    India still couldn't match NZ's first total though, let's not forget that! Great work to the Black Caps and promising signs for the battle on home turf for these nation's top sides in a couple of months

  • jared on September 5, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    our best batting talent since crowe is williamson and he has a test average of 30, wouldn't it be great if we could produce a batter with a first class average in the 80's, don't think it will happen in my life time and im only 30, i always hold out hope one day one of our batters will step up and average over 50 at test level but im always let down. nz batters are terrible our only hope is to produce the best bowling attack in the world so our batters don't have to score much, got to envy india's batting depth.

  • Craig on September 5, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    NZ would die to be able to have someone who averages 70+ in first class cricket

  • Swastik on September 4, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    This guy *had* a first class average of 72. The average would go up to 84, if he remains unbeaten, or 78 if he gets out. Tremendous!