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India A vs New Zealand A: Players look to impress selectors in unofficial Tests

New Zealand A boasts of several players from the national team, aiming to gain knowledge and experience of Indian conditions. They are playing two four-day games against India A in Mulapadu, near Vijayawada, the first of which starts on Saturday.

cricket Updated: Sep 23, 2017 12:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
India vs New Zealand,India A vs New Zealand A,Karun Nair
Karun Nair is leading India A against New Zealand A in the two four-day games.(PTI)

The likes of Karun Nair, his counterpart Henry Nicholls and a few others would be eyeing a place in their respective national sides when India and New Zealand play limited-overs series next month. For now, the job on hand is to impress the selectors in the two four-day unofficial Tests between India A and New Zealand A.

The first four-day game between the two A teams got underway on Saturday at the Mulapadu Cricket Complex near Vijayawada. Nair, who has been out of favour of the national selectors despite a stupendous effort of 303 not out against England last year, would want to force his way back into the side with India set to play three more Tests against Sri Lanka at home later this year.

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On his part, Nair is hopeful of positive results for his side, which consists several national team hopefuls such as Shreyas Iyer, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rishabh Pant, Priyank Panchal and Navdeep Saini to name a few.

“This is of immense importance to the team as also several players, who can stake a claim for the bigger league. I feel motivated after my 90 against South Africa,” Nair was quoted as saying by The Hans India. “We have the right balance and the skills to do well in these two ‘Tests’,” added Nair.

For Nicholls and Co., the task would be to acclimatise and show their adaptability. The Blackcaps, who had taken their last year’s limited-overs series till the final match but lost to India 2-3, would want to better their record.

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Also, a 0-3 hammering in the Tests previously would be in the minds of their team management and this series provides the New Zealand players to learn a great deal about playing in Indian conditions.

“Any tour to the sub-continent is a great chance for the players to improve their game. I am confident that this series will produce good players for the country,” Nicholls said, according to Sportstarlive.

“It should be a great experience for most of us. We are ready for the challenges. The conditions will be tough for sure,” the 25-year-old expressed.

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For New Zealand, a few players would be the key, such as Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, the explosive Colin Munro and their captain Nicholls.

The Kiwis are coached by former pacer Shane Bond, who is hopeful of impressing with his overall coaching skills and grab a similar role with any Indian Premier League (IPL) team. “Yes, I should be able to chip in a little about the conditions here,” Bond said.

First Published: Sep 23, 2017 12:58 IST