Their confidence on high after the comprehensive win in the opener, India A would look to seal the three-match unofficial ODI series against West Indies A in the second 50-over game between the two sides at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here tomorrow.
Skipper Yuvraj Singh stole the limelight with a breathtaking century to guide India A to a thumping 77-run win over the visitors in the opening match of the series yesterday, and come tomorrow the hosts would be looking for an encore.
All eyes were trained on on Yuvraj yesterday after he was handed a lifeline to return to the ODI team by being named captain of the India A team. And the dashing left-hander grabbed the opportunity with both hands and staked his claim for a national berth by scoring a brutal 89-ball 123 against the hapless Caribbeans in the opening match.
Yuvraj produced a sensational exhibition of strokeplay by hitting eight fours and seven sixes in his scintillating innings to help India raise 312 for four after being put to bat in the match which was reduced to 42-over-a-side affair due to two-hour delayed start on account of wet outfield.
India ‘A’ then bowled out the visitors for 235 in 39.1 overs, giving the home side a 1-0 lead in the series.
Come tomorrow, India A, a team on a roll after the cleansweep against New Zealand A, would be hoping to carry on the winning momentum in their future matches.
During his dazzling knock yesterday, Yuvraj shared two hundred runs partnerships with Mandeep Singh (67) and Yusuf Pathan (70 not out), who played perfect second fiddle to the left-hander.
Just like Yuvraj, Yusuf — who is also looking for a comeback to the ODI team — displayed his attacking skills and tore apart the West Indies bowling attack to score his runs off just 32 balls with the help of four boundaries and six hits over the fence.
And come tomorrow, both Yuvraj and Yusuf would be hoping for repeat performances to catch the eyes of national selectors.
But openers Robin Uthappa and Unmukt Chand, both of whom excelled against New Zealand A, failed to replicate their form in the opening match against the Caribbeans. And the duo would be hoping to return among runs which will ensure a rollicking start for the hosts.
Uthappa, who is in ODI exile, in particular would be hoping an improved showing with the bat to catch the eyes of national selectors ahead of the limited overs series against West Indies and South Africa.
In experienced Irfan Pathan and Praveen Kumar’s absence, the Indian bowling attack led by R Vinay Kumar lived upto expectations in yesterday’s match.
With a cushion of 312 runs to defend, the pressure-less Indian bowlers stuck to a disciplined line and length against Caribbean batsmen yesterday.
The quartet of Vinay Kumar, Sumit Narwal, Rahul Sharma and Yusuf Pathan scalped two wickets apiece to bowl out West Indies A for 235 runs.
And Yuvraj would be expecting similar performances from his bowlers tomorrow.
The West Indies A, on the other hand, who performed well during their home series against Sri Lanka-A in June, will look for improvement.
The Caribbean side would be hoping for a better show from their top-order batsmen, especially Kirk Edward, who became the 14th West Indian batsman to score a century on debut and third West Indian to score a debut hundred against India.
The West Indies A top order — Nkruma Bonner (16), captain Kieran Powell (17) and Edwards (19) would be hoping to utilise their starts in the remainder of the series.
Narsingh Deonaraine (57) and Ashley Nurse (57) were the only two batsmen who showed intent with fighting half centuries while chasing India’s mammoth total yesterday.
The visitors would also be hoping for fireworks from all-rounder Andre Russel, who has a reputation of winning matches on his own.
The West Indies A bowling attack cut a sorry figure against the ruthless Indian batting line-up yesterday.
All the West Indian bowlers, including pace duo of Miguel Cummins and Ronsford Beaton bled runs in the first match.
The series is an opportunity for a number of young West Indian players to show their skills, especially with the senior team set to tour India next month.
And the likes of skipper Powell, vice-captain Veerasammy Permaul, Russell, Andre Fletcher, Devon Thomas, Edwards, Nikita Miller and Deonarine, all of whom have featured in the senior team, would be hoping to impress upon the selectors.
India A: Yuvraj Singh (captain), Unmukt Chand, Robin Uthappa, Baba Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha (wk), Yusuf Pathan, R 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.