The Indian team may be struggling when it comes to performing in Australia, but the A team is definitely making it a habit of impressing whenever it tours the nation, especially in recent times. India A drew both the unofficial Tests, competing on an even keel with Australia A, and then went on to clinch the quadrangular one-day series as well. Here’s a look at the star performers from India A’s visit to Australia.
Naman Ojha: He had an exceptional series, which has resulted in him being called up to replace the injured Wriddhiman Saha in England. Ojha played three knocks during the course of the two Tests, and crossed the century mark in each one of them, remaining unbeaten on two of those occasions. Ojha finished the series with a massive 430 runs, averaging exactly the same, at an extremely impressive strike rate of 84. He slammed 219 not out and 101 not out in the first Test at Brisbane, and was dismissed for 110 in the second Test at the same venue.
Manoj Tiwary: The India discard, who has been unlucky with injuries on numerous occasions, played a couple of impressive knocks in the series. He finished with 146 runs at an average of 48.6 with two fifties and a highest of 83, which he scored in the first Test. He followed it up with 63 in the second Test.
Sanju Samson: The exciting young prospect was the standout performer for India A with the bat in the quadrangular series, even though he failed in the final. Overall, Samson finished the series with 244 runs from seven innings, with two fifties, and an average of 81.3. Samson remained not out on four of these occasions. Samson had a highest score of 81, and a strike rate of 86.
Kedar Jadhav: Yet another impressive series for Jadhav. He featured in four games, and scored 225 runs at an average of 56.2 with half-centuries in three of those four knocks. Jadhav had a sensational strike rate of 119.6. Jadhav put his hands up in the final as well. His 78 from 73 balls set up India’s impressive four-wicket series win. Like Ojha, he also deserves an India call-up soon.
Dhawal Kulkarni: The experienced Mumbai pacer brought all his guile into play during the series. In six matches, the medium pacer picked up 14 wickets at an average of 18.7 with a best of 5 for 54 at a strike rate of 24.4 and an economy rate of 4.6.
--By A Cricket Analyst