Jaydev Unadkat, Kedar Jadhav and Suryakumar Yadav on the significance of 'A' tours before India youth team’s Australia visit for one-day and four-day series
Come August and India's fringe players will have another chance to up their stakes at making it to the national team. Cricket Australia on Wednesday announced India 'A' as the second international team to tour Australia for the upcoming 'A' series.
Kedar Jadhav of India 'A' during the quadrangular series final match vs Australia 'A' at Marrara Oval in Darwin, Australia in 2014. Pic/Getty Images
India 'A' will join South Africa 'A', Australia and CA's National Performance Squad for the one-day quadrangular series in August in Townsville and Mackay. It will be followed by two four-day matches against Australia 'A' in September in Brisbane.
While the 'A' tours are stepping stone for players, they are also a good reality check. Pacer Jaydev Unadkat, who has been on several 'A' tours including one to Australia in 2014, said the exposure is like a measuring stick for India aspirants. "It tells you where you stand when you compete with the cream of cricketers.
It shows at what level you are as a player and whether you are ready for the biggest stage," said Unadkat, who claimed a match-winning 13 wicket-haul on his first-class debut against West Indies 'A' at Grace Road, Leicester in 2010.
"It is also a good way to understand the conditions. You may have all the information about the wickets, but practical knowledge is always vital," Unadkat added.
'Performances on 'A' tours don't go unnoticed'
Maharashtra's Kedar Jadhav made the most of his opportunity during the India 'A' tour to Australia in 2014 where he slammed three consecutive half-centuries, including the one in the final of the Darwin quadrangular one-day series to beat Australia 'A' by four wickets.
"It was the most important tour of my career. Those three half-centuries helped me get selected for the Indian team. Your performances on 'A' tours don't go unnoticed. Australia is always a very difficult place to score runs.
You have to be mentally tougher as the Aussies play dominating cricket and are very aggressive (in their body language). That tour made me confident that I can play against any attack," said Jadhav, who has been recalled to the Indian team for the forthcoming Zimbabwe tour.
For Mumbai Ranji Trophy stalwart Suryakumar Yadav, the experience of touring New Zealand with the India 'A' in 2012 was an eye opener. Yadav scored just 14 runs in two List A innings, while 15 runs in the only first-class match they played on that tour.
"It was a forgettable tour for me. It was my first tour and I didn't achieve what I had thought. I realised where I am falling short and worked hard on the shortcomings after coming back. It was a huge learning curve," said Yadav.