After the rather comfortable win on Sunday, India ‘A’ will look back with satisfaction on a job efficiently done and boxes critically ticked. Yuvraj Singh — who was, if not running out of chances, failing to create new ones — appeared rejuvenated, physically and cricket-wise.
His century will have made people sit up, and if the West Indies ‘A’ bowling is anything like it was in the opener, more runs are around the corner.
The second one-day game at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday hands Yuvraj another opportunity to haul himself into contention.
It didn’t bother him, he said after the first game, that he didn’t find a place in the four-day teams. He was simply happy that he was back playing cricket and back making runs.
And, what enjoyable runs! If the six to raise his hundred was bold, the jab to send Ronsford Beaton’s full delivery rushing beyond the sightscreen was thrillingly casual.
Yusuf Pathan took two wickets and scored a blindingly quick 70, effortlessly hitting the ball long.
Mandeep Singh, the dominant partner early in his 100-run association with Yuvraj, benefited from poor catching, but played a number of good shots.
The opener Robin Uthappa, gradually putting together a case for a recall, started well in harder conditions before succumbing to a pull shot he will have been less than happy with.
Only the India ‘A’ bowling was a little frustrating, letting things drift when the game should have been wrapped up sooner, but Lalchand Rajput said it was more a case of the team trying its bowlers out.
As is the very point of such series, there was scope for changes to the side, the coach admitted. “Our idea is that lots of players should get an opportunity to play these matches, but at the same time we have to win as well,” he said.
West Indies ‘A’ missed the services of Veerasammy Permaul, whose return should bolster its bowling group, but a better effort will be required on Tuesday if the series is not to be lost.
The teams (from): India A: Yuvraj Singh (capt.), Unmukt Chand, Robin Uthappa, B. Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha, Yusuf Pathan, Vinay Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Siddharth Kaul, Sumit Narwal, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mandeep Singh, Rahul Sharma.
West Indies A: Kieran Powell (capt.), Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton, Nkrumah Bonner, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Miguel Cummins, Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Leon Johnson, Nikita Miller, Ashley Nurse, Andre Russell, and Devon Thomas.