India A favourites to clinch series against NZ

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Chennai, Oct 2 (UNI) Bolstered by the presence of Sourav Ganguly and R P Singh, India 'A', buoyed by the victory in the last match, start as favourites in the second and final four-day match against New Zealand 'A' beginning here tomorrow.

India defeated the Kiwis by 129 runs in the first match last evening.

With the second match slated to begin here tomorrow, the Indians go into the four-day contest with their heads held high to seal a 2-0 series win.

The fact that the BCCI has asked Sourav Ganguly, who was picked for the first two Tests against Australia and medium pacer R P Singh, to join the 'A' team to gain some match practice ahead of the Test series against Australia, has further strengthened the India A side.

Skipper Suresh Raina, who has been leading the side after S Badrinath, was selected for the Board President's XI, will have to do a lot of thinking and talking to finalise the playing XI.

With medium pacer Ashok Dinda in fine form, fellow pacer Sudeep Tyagi was likely to pave way for R P Singh, while Ganguly would come in for either Jaydev Shah or Wriddhiman Saha in the middle order.

But for these two unavoidable changes, Raina is unlikely to tinker with the winning combination.

The Kiwis, on the other hand, started well in the first match by restricting India on the opening day, but flattered to deceive as the batsmen let them down.

Going by the body language at the nets here, the Kiwis exuded confidence of an improved performance tomorrow and were keen to level the series 1-1.

Teams: India A (from): Suresh Raina (Capt), Jaydev Shah, M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Sahil Kukreja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Ashok Dinda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Sudeep Tyagi, Amit Mishra, Pradeep Sangwan, Mohnish Parmar.

New Zealand A (from): Peter Fulton (Capt), Brent Arnel, Neil Broom, Grant Elliott, Iain O'Brien, Martin Guptill, Greg Hay, Nathan McCullum, James Marshall, Michael Mason, Trent Boult, Aaron Redmond, Bradley Scott, Reece Young, B J Watling.


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