Monday, 6 October 2014

Chand ton shapes India 'A' win against WI

MUMBAI: How many times have you seen the coach of an international team turning up to play his team? Those who were present at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday were witness to this amusing sight as former West Indies opener Stuart Williams stationed himself at first slip after his team was asked to field first by India 'A' in their second warm-up game, a day-night affair.

With three of their top players - skipper Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith and Andre Russell being involved in the CLT20 final a day earlier, and a fourth -spinner Sunil Narine - being forced to go home after being reported for suspect action, a highly depleted Windies fell so short of putting together 11 players for this game that they had to ask their coach to step inside the park.

Thankfully, this farce by the visitors was overshadowed by young batting gun Unmukt Chand, who, going one better after his unbeaten 79 in the first match at the Brabourne Stadium against the same listless attack, made a definite case for an India cap sometime in the future, slamming an attractive 101 (111b, 8x4, 3x6).

Toying with the Windies bowling at one stage, the 21year-old added 149 off 123 balls with another bright prospect, Karun Nair, who hit an attacking 63 (63b, 4x4, 4x6), before India 'A' wasted the efforts of both, suffering a collapse that saw nine wickets fall for 107 runs.

The hosts eventually logged 282, which proved to be just enough, as the visitors put up a spirited fight before finishing at 266 for nine to lose by 16 runs.

In-form 'keeper Denesh Ramdin (102, 102b, 10x4, 3x6), all-rounder Darren Sammy (50, 67b, 6x4, 1x6) and even seamer Jason Holder (54, 42b, 3x4, 2x6) primed themselves for the ODI series against India with timely knocks in a much-improved batting effort from the Windies.

Chand, who shot to fame with his heroics in India's Under-19 World Cup triumph a couple of years back, has since struggled to make a similar impact consistently at the senior level.

During the course of his two knocks here against the Windies, though, he has shown evidence of having turned a new leaf. The Delhi opener, it is learnt, recently approached West Indies' renowned sports psychologist Rudy Webster with an aim to hit 'consistency.'

Webster, who has worked with the likes of Viv Richards and Greg Chappell in the past, told Chand via his emails to 'play the ball, and not the bowler.' He told him to start watching the ball right from when it left the bowlers' hand, till when he played it.

The chance to play against the Windies for India ' A' was more of an opportunity to 'enjoy himself' and get some runs, Webster advised Chand. Chand,Stuart Williams,Dwayne Bravo,Denesh Ramdin,Darren Sammy

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