India A eye whitewash against NZ A
After clinching the ODI series with an unassailable 2-0 lead, a dominant India 'A' will now look to complete the whitewash when they lock horns against New Zealand 'A' in the final ODI on Thursday.
Led by Unmukt Chand, India 'A' have produced a dominating show in the three-match unofficial ODI series so far as they thrashed the visitors by six wickets in the first two games.
Their six-wicket victory yesterday sealed the series for India 'A' and the hosts may look to test their bench strength, giving a chance to spinner Jalaj Saxena and batsman Sanju Samson.
Chand has, so far, led his team by example as he scored 94 and 59 in the first two ODIs while his opening partner Robin Uthappa also scored a century in the lung-opener.
The U-19 World Cup winning captain scripted a good comeback after his twin failures in the Test series to top the list of highest run-scorer in the limited-overs rubber so far and he would look for another good show from his bat to help his team inflict a whitewash on the tourists.
Uthappa, who is in ODI exile, would be hoping to produce another sparkling show after the opening ODI ton to catch the eyes of national selectors with limited overs series against West Indies and South Africa in sight.
Though the Indian middle-order batsmen didn't have much to do in the first match, they came good in the second ODI with the likes of Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav and Ashok Maneria rising to the occasion.
While Mandeep scored a 59, adding 89 runs off 103 for the third wicket with skipper Chand, Maharashtra's Jadhav and Rajasthan left-hander Maneria, too delivered, making unbeaten 30 and 37 respectively.
Maneria, in fact, turned out to be the most valuable player when he returned with a five-wicket haul to strangle the Kiwis.
Others bowlers, led by pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, too stuck to a disciplined line and kept a check on the scoring rate of New Zealand batsmen. Kulkarni has scalped five wickets so far while spinner Rahul Sharma took three and they will be hoping to continue their good show for the team.
New Zealand, on the other hand, would look to restore some pride by putting up a better show in the final ODI.
The Kiwis have been plagued by inconsistency in the series so far as their top-order batsmen did get starts but failed to convert them into big scores.
Carl Cachopa and DJ Mitchell have come good with the bat, scoring 125 and 61 in the series. While Cachopa made 80 yesterday to go with his 45 in the first ODI, opener Anton Devcich failed to deliver in the second ODI after scoring 48 in first match.
Luke Ronchi (13 & 34) and Tom Latham (37 & 18) have got starts but could not convert them.
In the bowling department, Adam Milne (4) was the best Kiwi bowler, while Mark Gillespie has two wickets.
Squads: India: Unmukt Chand (captain), Robin Uthappa, Aditya Tare, (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Ashok Menaria, Sanju Samson (wk), Sachin Baby, Dhawal Kulkarni, Basant Mohanty, Sandeep Sharma, Shrikant Wagh, Rahul Sharma, Jalaj Saxena.
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Luke Ronchi, Matthew Henry, Anton Devcich, Andrew Ellis (captain), Colin Munro, Scoot Kuggeleijn, Corey Anderson, Carl Cachopa, Todd Astle, Mark Gillespie, Doug Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne.
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