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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Confident India A take on New Zealand

Confident India A take on New Zealand

September 20, 2008 17:54 IST

With the series evenly poised, India A will start their second half campaign hoping to keep a clean slate against their New Zealand counterparts when the two sides lock horns in the Triangular series Chennai on Sunday.

The second half of the league phase heading to the final of the Tri-nation series involving Australia-A, New Zealand and India A is well-balanced with each team bagging six points each from three encounters.

India A defeated the New Zealanders by five wickets on Wednesday and with the home advantage, the hosts would hold an edge over their rivals in their third of the four match league phase on Sunday. The final match is scheduled for next Thursday.

India commenced their campaign in the series with a 86 run loss after electing to bat against the Australians on Monday last but scored an emphatic win the next day chasing a New Zealand target of 167, where the Indian showed better cohesion.

However, form remains a concern as batsmen like Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik are yet to find their usual rhythm having been dismissed cheaply in their matches.

India won their last match against the Australians as skipper Badrinath stuck to his wicket to steer the country to a resounding win. Apart from Badrinath, Yusuf Pathan has made valuable 54 and not out 31 in his two matches and has also proved to be economical in bowling  (15-1-73-2).

As for the Kiwis, its top order has held firm against the Aussie attack, but against India only Peter Fulton and Neil Broom performed well with the bat. The fact that these two and Grant Elliot (not out 35) contributed 127 runs among them in their team's total of 167 against India should be the key for hosts in forming their strategy to go for a win in their match.

Boosted by the presence of pacers Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar and spinners Piyush Chawla and Yusuf Pathan, India's bowling attack looks stronger than the Kiwis, who have spinner Jeetan Kumar Patel as the main strike bowler.

Meanwhile, curator K Parthasarathy predicted a high-scoring match provided the rain does not play spoilsport.

Squads

India: S Badrinath (C), Robin Uthappa, Swapnil Asnodkar Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla, Ravi Teja, Jaydev Shah, Wriddhiman Saha and Abhishek Nayar.

New Zealand: Peter Gordon Fulton (C), James Edward Charles, Neil Trevor, Grant Elliot, Mark Raymond Gillespie, Martin James Guptill, Gregory Robert, Brent Amel, Michal James Mason, Nathan Leslie McCullum, Iain Edward, Jeetan Kumar, Aaron James Redmond, Breadley Esmond, BradleyJohn and Reece Allan.

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