India U-19 team tune up for forthcoming World Cup by playing against Board President's XI which had three internationals...
Rahul Dravid surprised everyone when he opted to coach the India U-19 team and the India 'A' side, instead of being a part of the senior set-up. The former India skipper has once again made everyone sit up and take notice with his move to make the Bangladesh-bound U-19 World Cup team practice with the senior players.
India U-19 boys Armaan Jaffer (left) and Sarfaraz Khan during their 181-run stand against Board President's XI at Brabourne Stadium yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
It is learnt that Dravid wanted the three practice matches for the U-19 team to be grilling. Hence, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) instructed its senior selectors to pick a team which have enough India internationals.
The Board President's XI team which played yesterday at the Brabourne Stadium consisted of three international players – Abhinav Mukund, Jaydev Unadkat and Ishwar Pandey. The rest are top performers from the domestic circuit. After losing the first match on Saturday, the U-19 boys lifted themselves up to stun the Board President's XI by 24 runs in the second List A game yesterday.
Unadkat, who was part of the India U-19 World Cup squad in 2010, lauded Dravid's decision. "It is a very smart way to prepare for the U-19 team for the World Cup. Playing against quality opposition always helps. It has added so much meaning to their preparation now. I am very impressed with their batting," Unadkat told mid-day.
Continuing with his rotation policy, Dravid made four changes in the playing XI for the second match. Sarfaraz Khan slammed 113 (13x4s) while his school chum Armaan Jaffer, playing his first match with white ball, smashed a strokeful 89 (10x4s and 2x6s) as the Mumbai-born boys stitched a 181-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
India U-19 team posted 322-7 in 50 overs and then bowled out the Board President's XI for 299 in 48.3 overs thanks to three wickets from pacer Avesh Khan and two wickets each from Sayed Khaleel Ahmed, Rahul Batham and Manipal Lamror.