Chennai: Gurkeerat Singh Mann is excited about leading the Board President's XI against Australia in a warm-up game on Tuesday because he played the first of his three ODIs for India against the team from Down Under. “I'm looking forward to playing against them again,” Gurkeerat said.
With the President's XI comprising a gaggle of youngsters, the 27-year-old said the selection was probably done with an eye on the future. “Whenever you get selected you need to give your best. All of us are focusing on the game and the rest is with the selectors,” he added.
The home team assembled in Chennai on Monday afternoon and got only one training session for a couple of hours but the captain said it was not a cause of concern. “Everybody is a professional cricketer. You need to be ready all the time. They have been in practice, so I don't think getting together one day before the game is an issue. Everybody is raring to go. I think we just want to keep it simple. We know most of the guys in their team as we have played with them in the IPL,” he added.
According to Gurkeerat, the limited-overs match wouldn't hinder his players' preparations for the Ranji season. “Every game helps you irrespective of the format. I think playing against competitive teams is an advantage before the domestic season,” he said.
For President's XI coach Hemang Badani, the match would be a good opportunity for youngsters to knock on the door of selectors. “I would go back to my personal experience. I was out of the side for a couple of years (in 2003) and got a 100 in a warm-up game against New Zealand, which paved the way for my comeback into the ODI side. Players do realise that one good knock or a five-wicket haul gets them back into the reckoning,” he said.
The 40-year-old, who led Chepauk Super Gillies to the title in TNPL2 last month, said his players are all professional and know what they have to do as he would be their coach only for a day. “I do not have enough time to spend with them but I understand their needs. I try to be a facilitator for one session. I want to give them feedback on Chennai's weather,” he added.