Mumbai: Rohit Sharma showed no signs of the finger injury that kept him out of action for more than two months as he hammered the visiting Sri Lanka bowlers today making 142 off 111 balls, said India 'A' coach Sanjay Bangar after his team won the warm-up game here.
"Rohit Sharma showed he's absolutely fit while batting. He is a quality player. He didn't get a game because of the injury. His match fitness had to be assessed and that was the reason the selectors had dropped him (from the first three ODIs against Lanka). He gave a fantastic account of himself. "He has been practising really hard over the last 10 days at BKC. And he showed the total recovery from that injury while batting and he showed no discomfort at all. He fielded throughout the 50 overs and these are good signs for the Indian team," said Bangar after India 'A' swamped the Lankans by 88 runs at the Brabourne Stadium.
Sharma, who injured his right middle finger in the first ODI against England during India's visit earlier this year, hit one six and 18 fours after opening the innings with Unmukt Chand (54) and was run out by a direct hit at the striker's end when going for a second run.
India 'A' ran up a huge score of 382 for six and then restricted the rivals, who will now play a five-game ODI series against hosts India from November 2, to 294 for nine.
Bangar also praised Manish Pandey and said the Karnataka batsman's punishing knock of 135 not out, off 113 balls, would give him a lot of confidence. He also said the India A bowlers stuck to their plans.
"There were a lot of positives, especially the way we got the partnerships for the opening, second and third wicket. The running between the wickets, the intent was there. We were playing XI and they were exercising all their options. That was an added challenge and the way bowlers responded was terrific. All of them bowled to a plan and executed well.
"Also to mention Dhawal [Kulkarni], he picked up the wicket with the new ball and even in the second powerplay, the
way he gave a good account of himself; the variety in his bowling, the slow bouncers, different angles, bowling the
yorkers, he executed it really well," said Bangar.
Kulkarni picked up 2 for 41 in 7 overs. On Pandey's knock he said, "He has been batting pretty well, consistently. His state side won a lot of championships. They won the Irani, the Ranji trophy, most of the championships that they played in. He played a vital part in that. He had a fantastic IPL also. He won the IPL final for KKR. He has been in tremendous touch.
"He is always on the fringes. This innings of his can give him a lot of confidence because he came after we were put
in to bat and you always expect the CCI wicket to do a bit in the first hour and a half. So, from that perspective, it must have been very satisfying for Manish Pandey."
Asked whether leggie Karn Sharma, who ripped through the Lankan miidle order to pick up 4 for 47, has now emerged as a strong candidate for India's World Cup squad, Bangar said not only he but all those who are part of the India and India 'A' squads have a good chance to book berths. Bangar, however, did not read too much into Lanka's defeat and said they were a quality side.
"They wanted to test all their options and cover all areas (Lanka used all players in the match). The results of such matches don't matter a lot to visiting sides as much as they matter to the home teams. They are a quality side. They have crowned themselves as world champions in one format (T20) of the game." Karn Sharma said he and the other bowlers stuck to a plan and restricted the rivals.
"We had a good target to defend. Our aim was to restrict them and we bowled in the right areas. The wicket was good, we did not give easy balls to hit. We bowled line and length."