Rajput satisfied with NZ tour

The India ‘A’ team’s recently concluded tour of New Zealand, was a fruitful and highly satisfying visit, coach Lalchand Rajput said here on Tuesday.

India ‘A’ drew the one-day series 1-1 and then dominated the proceedings in the couple of drawn four-day matches. “It was a very good tour for all the players. The conditions were totally alien to the players and they did very well. It was cold, the tracks were very helpful to the pace bowlers and it was windy too. The players must have learned a lot. We did well in both the formats (one-day and four-day),” Rajput said.

The former India opener praised the batting of Ambati Rayudu, Mandeep Singh, Ashok Meneria and captain Abhinav Mukund. “Ambati Rayudu did very well in the one-dayers and in the first unofficial Test before he picked up a finger injury (clipped nail). Mandeep batted very well and got a near double century in the second unofficial Test. Meneria also did very well and got a hundred.

“Skipper Abhinav Mukund also batted well and got a hundred in the second unofficial Test after getting a few 40s and 50s earlier. Unmukt Chand got a few 40s and 50s, but could not capitalise on these starts. He needs to work a bit on his technique. It was a big tour for him and from the U-19 ranks to India ‘A’,” Rajput said.

R Vinay Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat bowled extremely well, said Rajput, who also had a word of praise for the leg-spinner Rahul Sharma and pacer Shami Ahmed. “We would have won the first unofficial Test had not Shami picked up a side strain because of the cold weather,” said Rajput.

About the opposition the team encountered, Rajput said it was quite strong with nine of them having already represented New Zealand. “It was their second string side and it was a good chance for their players to get back into the first team,” according to Rajput.

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