Kris Srikkanth, India's chairman of selectors, has praised the way the Indian batsmen adjusted to the pace and bounce of the wickets in Australia during the Emerging Players Tournament which concluded last week. India took the 50-over title with a 17-run win over South Africa at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Saturday.
"This shows there is plenty of depth in Indian cricket," Srikkanth told the Hindu. "The pitches in Brisbane offered assistance to the pacemen but our batsmen came through the test. Our own pacemen and spinners also impressed."
India were inconsistent during the tournament, winning and losing four games in the lead-up to the final. South Africa were the overwhelming favourites to take the title, having won all eight games, but failed to chase down a challenging 284 in the final. The in-form opener Virat Kohli (104) and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (74) were the top performers with the bat while the Uttar Pradesh fast bowler Sudeep Tyagi took 4 for 74 to derail the chase.
The Indian captain S Badrinath echoed Srikkanth's views and praised the stand-out performers. Kohli was the leading run-scorer with 398 runs, including two centuries and as many fifties, while Tyagi led the wicket charts with 14 wickets.
"The pitches had some pace and bounce in them and we had very little time to adjust to the new surroundings," Badrinath said. "Once we found our bearings, we grew in confidence.
"He (Tyagi) is tall, gets bounce and bowls a nice line. Tyagi has a lot of promise. Other pacemen Dhawal Kulkarni, Bhuveshwar Kumar and left-armer Pradeep Sangwan also bowled well. All of us contributed. Yet, I must say, opener Virat Kohli was outstanding. Some of the shots he played spoke about his ability."
Badrinath, however, was unhappy with the Duke balls used in the tournament. "They experimented with these balls during the day games since the white ball tended to get muddy," he said. "But I was not happy with the new balls. They did too much early on and became soft too soon."