Chance For Players "On The Cusp" to Prove Themselves, Says India A Head Coach Dravid
With all three four-day matches between India A and New Zealand A ending in a draw largely due to the inclement weather, Rahul Dravid, head coach of the visiting India A side was hopeful of the three-match one-dayers which begins on Friday (December 7) to produce better results.
"We were disappointed not to get as much red-ball cricket as we would have liked," Dravid was quoted by New Zealand Herald, referring to the rain-affected matches in Hamilton and Whangarei. "But it is what it is."
The first 50-over game will be a day-night affair at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui and with a strong India A contingent which boasts of plenty of players who have already represented India at the senior level, the visitors will be keen on making a strong start.
"We're really looking forward to these matches, and they're day/night games too so it should be a really good experience and a good opportunity to see what it's like in New Zealand under lights," said Dravid.
The India A squad consists of the likes of Krunal Pandya, Manish Pandey, Khaleel Ahmed, Shreyas Iyer and Washington Sundar all of who were part of the senior side for the three-match Twenty20 International series against Australia recently. While Pandya and Ahmed played key roles in all three games, with the former even winning the Player of the Match award in the third match of the series - that was shared 1-1 - taking 4/36 in his 4 overs, Pandey, Iyer and Sundar could not get a game.
The ICC ODI Cricket World Cup that will be held in England & Wales is just months away now and with a few spots in the national side still up for grabs, Dravid insisted the three 50-over games will be quite important for a lot of the players to get back into reckoning.
"With the World Cup on the horizon, every game matters to players on the cusp. So these are three important games," said Dravid.
The New Zealand A side, on the other hand, also have a few names who will eager to get back into national presence. The likes of Doug Bracewell, who last played for the Black Caps this January, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham and Lockie Ferguson will be quite eager to prove themselves.
"We're a good quality side, it's well balanced but it's a good team we're up against as well," said Bracewell ahead of the first encounter.
"It's been an okay start to the season for me, but I'm up for a big series against these guys in the one-dayers and I want to put some good performances on the board."
All three one-dayers are day-night affairs and will be staged at Bay Oval on December 7, 9 and 11.