The hurried exit of fans at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday, in a warped sense reflected well on the health of the three-match one-day series between India ‘A’ and the West Indies ‘A’.
At that precise moment, when the game’s followers trooped out weighing their options of either getting back home or lounging around on MG Road, India ‘A’ had lost its skipper Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan in quick succession and the West Indians were firmly in the hunt.
Tuesday’s 55-run victory helped West Indies ‘A’ draw level at 1-1 and most importantly keep the series alive ahead of the third and final one-dayer here on Thursday. A sharp spell of rain that curtailed the West Indians’ afternoon practice session hopefully will not turn into a downpour on the key day while the forecast hints at a ‘light drizzle.’
Both teams, with players eyeing pathways into their respective senior national squads, have soared on batting bright-spots — Yuvraj’s 123 or Jonathan Carter’s 133.
However, consistency remains elusive. The Indians have struggled with poor starts — 8 and 15 — while Robin Uthappa and Unmukt Chand, who were in fine fettle against New Zealand ‘A’, are staring at the law of averages.
The visitors did no better and skipper and opener Kieran Powell strung 24 with Nkrumah Bonner and 20 with Andrew Fletcher. And apart from Yuvraj, Carter and to a certain extent Yusuf and Mandeep Singh in the first clash, the rest have barely flickered.
Death-overs bowling too has been a sore point for both outfits and India also grappled with poor fielding when Carter soared. If these blemishes could be corrected, the fans will have something to cheer about.
While Yuvraj is keen to finish a task that he had begun well, the Windies will hope that its fast bowler Miguel Cummins can deliver again.
The teams (from):
India ‘A’: Yuvraj Singh (captain), Unmukt Chand, Robin Uthappa, B. Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha, Yusuf Pathan, Vinay Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Siddharth Kaul, Sumit Narwal, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mandeep Singh and Rahul Sharma.
West Indies ‘A’: Kieran Powell (captain), 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.