Australia A v India A, Tri-series final, Pretoria

Pujara hails batting unit

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 14, 2013

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

Parvez Rasool celebrates a wicket with his team-mates, South Africa A v India A, tri-series, Pretoria, August 9, 2013
The flat tracks posed a huge challenge for India's inexperienced attack © Getty Images
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Cheteshwar Pujara, the India A captain, has praised the team's batting as the main reason for success in the A-team tri-series in Pretoria. India's batsmen put up scores of 285 or more in each of the four league matches, and though they managed a less substantial 243 in the final, it proved sufficient to beat Australia A by 50 runs.

"As a unit, we wanted to win this series," Pujara said. "A couple of the league matches didn't go our way and those were quite close games. We lost two games against Australia and I thought we would have won at least one of them. Our batting unit did a really great job and that was our strength. In the final, the bowlers stood up and did the job for the team."

While visiting sides have generally struggled against the pace and movement on offer during the South African season, teams put up large totals in this series. Both India and Australia are set to tour South Africa later this season, and Pujara felt the conditions during the tri-series didn't mirror what the national teams will be faced with.

"I don't think the conditions will be the same when we come back," Pujara said. "Wickets are quite flat out here at the moment and when we come in December the conditions will be hugely different and we are aware about it. It's about getting used to the conditions, not the wickets only but the weather and other aspects of this game."

The flat tracks also provided a severe test for India's largely inexperienced bowling attack, besides posing a challenge to Pujara's captaincy skills. "The matches were quite high scoring and it was difficult for the bowlers to execute their plans," Pujara said. "When you have 400 on the board and you still feel it is chaseable, it's a difficult job for the captain and for the bowlers, because at times what they want to do, it's not possible. But we stuck together, we realised the wicket was flat and we were bound to get hit but if you had plans you wanted to execute, you should continue trying that."

With the tri-series completed, Pujara and his team will now shift their focus to the two four-day games against South Africa A which will provide a chance for several fringe players to push their case for a Test berth. The first of the four-day matches starts on Saturday at Rustenburg.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SamRoy on (August 17, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

@Naresh28 Rahane is not good enough against quality spin or quality pace on helpful pitches though can score bucket-loads of runs on a flat pitch. Can play ODIs as a substitute for regulars but not good enough for test team. Sorry. Ambati Rayudu is a lot better. Rohit Sharma would have been even better if he went at the moving ball with soft hands and moved his feet better. For the tests in SA even M. Vijay should be benched as his backfoot strokeplay is atrocious. Open with Dhawan and Karthik. Play with Pujara, Kohli, Rayudu/Rohit, Gambhir and Dhoni in the middle order. Any way, Vijay should always play as opener in tests in the sub-continent but away from sub-continent I prefer Karthik's pluckiness as long as we don't have a better option like Mandeep Singh or Unmukt Chand ready for test cricket. I used to think highly of Mukund but he fluffed his chances in 2011. He needs to work on his technique and do brilliantly in Ranji cricket to be considered again.

Posted by Naresh28 on (August 16, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

@testcricmaniac - its not that we fans back players like Rahane. This guy has lots stats behind him in domestic cricket. Dravid actually hailed this youngster as someone with potential. Rahane has had a very stop/start in team/out team bench warming career(confidence is low). All we are saying is this guy should be given a chance in the playing 11. He was selected for tours like this by the selectors so they do see something in him. For me he looks like a player who can be ideal for Test cricket because he is so patient and can grind it out. Yes he did get out in the few opportunities he was given - but I am sure this was more a confidence factor. For that matter the other players like him are :- Rayudu and Tiwari.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Selectors might wish to look into this combo for the worldcup assuming they are all fit n in form:

Shikhar Dhawan, Unmukt Chand, Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Zaheer Khan

Posted by testcricmaniac on (August 15, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Rahane just doesn't have it in him. He is like Mohammad Kaif. Never looked the part. Scores against weaker bowling don't matter. He was badly exposed against quality bowling. He doesn't belong in the intl arena. There are just too many good players now of intl caliber i am afraid he may have to warm the benches for a long time.

Instead of him it is better to give opportunities to players like Vijay Zol to see what they are made of. Rahane has been tested. Anyone who can bat can see his short comings. It is the people who look only at scores and do not know about batting keep pressing for him.

Posted by   on (August 15, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

Rohit sharma. he is very good form. he is well batting I hope he playing international test sqade

Posted by   on (August 15, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

Good Effort Boys. Looks like they have just hit a purple patch. Let this carry over into the SA Test series in December.

Posted by Rohit... on (August 15, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

It's time viewers should look beyond Rahane... This guy showed lack of skills when he played against England in India.... He was bowled everytime an over-pitched delivery was thrown at him... Against Steyn's accuracy coupled with fast tracks, he is just a waste in Playing 11... Look beyond Rahane if you want a solid team.

Posted by MohamedBasheer on (August 15, 2013, 4:24 GMT)

"Congrads" Team India, very happy with their performance, all are done their job wel either bat or ball. All the best for Unofficial Test match. BCCI now focusing the future India, good.

Posted by bleedingice on (August 15, 2013, 2:12 GMT)

Y was rahane not given any games? i think the indian management hates him

Posted by TRAM on (August 15, 2013, 1:36 GMT)

Shikar Dhawan has proven he is too good. He can be rested (sent back). Even DK, has proven so can be rested. That way all the fringe batsmen can play. Unfortunately no single Ind bowler has performed to the desired high level.

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