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The Report by Sidharth Monga in Shimoga
October 4, 2013
West Indies A 406 and 233 for 3 (Brathwaite 104*, Deonarine 93) drew with India A 359 (Nayar 89, Jagadeesh 86, Kaul 64, Cummins 3-58)
Kraigg Brathwaite went ahead and brought up the only hundred of the match on a final day when everybody just went through their motions. The match was called off at 3.30pm, the earliest it could have been, and the teams travelled to Hubli, waiting for a more interesting contest.
There wasn't even an outside chance of a result after 20 wickets had taken three days to fall on a slow and flat pitch. The only matter of interest left was to see how Zaheer Khan would bowl. He tested the batsmen with some short-pitched bowling, but had only a wicket to show for his eight overs bowled on the final day to take his innings figures to 13-4-27-1.
Zaheer began the day with a concentrated short-ball barrage at Kieran Powell. The pitch didn't offer much bounce, but Zaheer's accuracy meant he hit the batsman on the forearm twice, and made him fend too. Powell managed to punch him for a four, but was eventually caught on the back foot when Zaheer bowled one full and outside off. The edge was taken, Zaheer's plan had worked, but that was the last success he got in his first first-class match of the year.
One of the few players who would have come out happy for this match was West Indies A captain Kirk Edwards. Not because of his scores, but because during the match he received the news he has been picked for the Tests against India. He last represented West Indies in May 2012. Although he believed he shouldn't have been here in order to make the comeback. Before the start of the match, when asked if this tour could help him force his way back, he said he was hoping he wouldn't have to play the A tour to return to the national squad.
Back in the side now, Edwards is "grateful", but not content. "It feels good to be back to international cricket," he said, "but having said that, I am in the squad and not in the XI. I am not guaranteed to play. But it is a step closer to where I want to be so I am grateful."
Edwards did go on to suggest he was not entirely happy with being out of the side. "I can't say I was confident of making the team because I have seen worse things happen to me over the last couple of years," he said. "I never count my chickens before they are hatched.
"I was frustrated at the beginning but you have to face the reality," he added. "Instead of thinking about things not happening for you, it is best to think about what is happening for you. You need a positive mindset. You need to be confident that whatever you set out to do, nobody can stop you from doing."
Edwards prescribed similar attitude to others who might think they have been hard done with. "Sorry, my heart is a bit cold about feeling bad for people because it is just cricket," he said. "Sometimes the guys who really don't have to do much and they get picked. Then there are guys who really have to work hard and get picked. I have observed that over a period of time. I have no feelings for people who - I don't want to say I don't have feelings for them - but whoever is hard done needs to suck it up, and go and work extra hard and get back instead of sting around and moping about the situation."
Was it hard to tell himself the same when "worse things" were happening to him? "Not very hard because that's how I am," Edwards said. "Just a tough life, buddy. You just have to face it. Simple."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sidharth Monga
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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