India A eye ODI series, Suresh Raina in spotlight
Bengaluru: Having outplayed Bangladesh A in all the departments in the first unofficial ODI, an upbeat India A will be looking to keep the winning momentum going and clinch the three-match series in the second game itself here on Friday.
The Unmukt Chand-led side thrashed the visitors by 96 runs in the opening match courtesy a brilliant all-round show by Gurkeerat Singh Mann (65 runs and five-wicket haul).
The hosts' top-order though would be looking to make amends after faltering in the first game as the middle and lower it was, which helped the team amass 322 while batting first.
Senior batsman Suresh Raina, who is taking this series as a tune-up for the big battle against South Africa, would be hoping to get some runs under his belt after getting just 16 on Wednesday.
Even Chand (16), Manish Pandey (1) and Kedar Jadhav (0) will be looking to pull up their socks come the second match. Jadhav and Pandey are in the 30-member probables list announced by BCCI for the upcoming South Africa series and would be looking to put up their case with a better showing.
The Rahul Dravid-coached side also saw a remarkable performance from wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, who top-scored with 73, a reassuring knock in the middle-order after the top-order failed to click, barring opener Mayank Agarwal's 56.
On the bowling front, India A made it count and left-armer Sreenath Aravind (3-29), medium-pacer Rishi Dhawan (2-51) and Gurkeerat (5-29) were also quite a handful against a brittle Bangladesh batting.
Local lad Aravind's knowledge of the Chinnaswamy track will certainly help him to keep up the good work. Though it was not all dark for the Mominul Haque-led side, which saw a few positives on the batting front with wicketkeeper-batsman Litton Das top-scoring with a defiant 75. Nasir Hussain (52) and Sabbir Rahman (25) also contributed but the rest of the batting will certainly have to do some re-shaping if they want to get even with the hosts.
With most of the Bangladesh A squad comprising international stars, the series is a matter of prestige for the visitors and they would certainly be looking to atleast stretch it to the final game.
Many of the Bangladesh A players, who would be treating this series as a tune-up for the upcoming Australia rubber, will be looking for resurrection in the second game.
Bangladesh cricket saw a classic revival after the national seniors beat Pakistan, India and then South Africa on home soil to prove their resurgence in the limited-overs format.
Many of the stars who were part of those wins are in the 'A' squad and certainly eyeing to maintain their winning run.
The first loss notwithstanding, Bangladesh A would certainly be looking to get even with India A in the second game and make the series an interesting affair.
India A: Unmukt Chand (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Kuldeep Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Karan Sharma, Rishi Dhawan, Srinath Aravind, Dhawal Kulkarni, Rush Kalaria, Gurkeerat Singh Mann.
Bangladesh A: Mominul Haque(captain), Anamul Haque Bijoy, Rony Talukdar, Litton Kumar Das (wk), Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Nasir Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Saqlain Sajib, Shuvagata Hom, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Jubair Hossain.