England Lions tour of India: India-A looks to dominate yet again

The Lions are expected to fight back, given the balanced nature of the pitch

The bowlers were expected to call the shots but the batsmen made merry in the first ‘Test’ between India-A and England Lions at Wayanad a couple of days ago. However, the second of the four-day game, which begins at the SNR Wadeyar grounds here on Wednesday, may be pretty balanced given the nature of the pitch.

It’s all about playing with patience in the first hour as the wicket is expected to assist faster bowlers. But thereafter as the sun comes out shining so will the batsmen.

No worries

The India-A stars may not worry much as they had showed their ability and courage in building strong partnerships in the opener.

Priyank Panchal hammered a double hundred and so did K.S. Bharat with an equally pleasing 142.

K.L. Rahul, the elegant opener, came up with a fine 89 and that set the ball rolling in favour of the Indians.

The responsibility is going to be bigger for Rahul now as he is leading the side.

But it may not bother him much as he is a cool character. He knows his men will do a much better job this time around.

Priyank is eagerly looking forward to this match. “I played against Australia-A in Bengaluru and there I spoke to Rahul (Dravid) sir and gained in confidence,” he said. “I am just trying to do my best. It’s all about playing as a team and that matters.”

Lions bowlers must fire

England Lions are expected to roar back. Ollie Pope, Sam Hain, Ben Duckett and William Jacks have played their parts for the team. It is their bowlers who need to fire to make it an even contest.

Lions skipper Sam Billings said he has been out of the four-day format for a while.

“Any tournament, I think you look at the opportunities around it and runs can translate into any format. For me, playing franchisee cricket has been a huge opportunity to improve my four-day cricket.”

He said switching formats was a challenge for any player. “The best players are able to do that regularly and consistently. Four-day cricket teaches you basic techniques which can be used in any format.”

The teams (from):

India-A: K.L. Rahul (Capt.), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Priyank Panchal, Ankeet Bawane, Karun Nair, Ricky Bhui, Siddhesh Lad, K.S. Bharat, Shabhaz Nadeem, Jalaj Saxena, Mayank Markande, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini and Varun Aaron.

England-A: Thomas Bailey, Dominic Bess, Sam Billings (Capt.), Danny Briggs, Matthew Carter, Zachariah Chappel, Alex Davies, Ben Duckett, Lewis Gregory, Sam Hain, Max Holden, William Jacks, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, James Potter and Steven Mullaney.

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