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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Cricket

Dhawan, Pujara in focus
MVL Manikantan, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 02, 2012
First Published: 23:30 IST(2/11/2012)
Last Updated: 23:32 IST(2/11/2012)

Considering that Haryana were packed off for 55 by Vidarbha in their Ranji Trophy opener on Friday, the England team would be hoping to get the most out of their second warm-up game against Mumbai 'A', starting at the DY Patil Stadium on Saturday, before facing Haryana in their final warm-up tie in Ahmedabad.

Mumbai 'A', comprising mostly those who did not make it to the Ranji side, have invited Saurashtra's Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan, the Delhi top order batsman who did not play in the India 'A' game against the English side due to his marriage.

Pujara, who made a remarkable comeback against New Zealand following knee surgeries, will hope to get a taste of the visitors' bowling attack before the Test series starts in Ahmeda-bad on Nov 15. The selectors will name the first Test squad on Nov 5. "Though most are unknown faces, we are not thinking about it much," said skipper Surya-kumar Yadav, making light of a lack of experience in the side.

Injury woes
While Yadav is in the Mumbai Indians squad, others like Bhavin Thakkar, Nikhil Patil Jr, Javed Khan, Bravish Shetty and Shardul Thakur have performed well for Mumbai at the U-25 level.

Medium-pacer Kshemal Waingankar, who took six wickets to dismiss England for 98 in a warm-up game on their 2008 tour, is also in the squad. Leg-spinner Sagar Gorivale, yet to play first-class cricket, will be the only specialist spinner England are likely to face in the game.

Coach Pradeep Sunderam said the pitch would offer some assistance to bowlers initially but reckons it is a good batting track.

England will look to build on their performances in the drawn first warm-up game against India 'A'. Skipper Alastair Cook and all-rounder Samit Patel struck centuries but opener Nick Compton, dismissed for a duck, will hope to prove his credentials this time.

After fast bowler Steven Finn broke down early in the India 'A' tie, they have another injury headache with standby 'keeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow nursing a thigh injury that could rule him out of the match.


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