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    Mumbai A captain rues absence of Sandhu

    Mumbai: Mumbai A captain Suryakumar Yadav rued the absence of seam bowler Balwinder Singh Sandhu Jr. as England XI recovered from a poor start to reach a strong 338 for 6 on the first day of a warm-up game, here Saturday.

    "We had planned to field four fast bowlers but Sandhu was running a temperature. He was a little unwell yesterday itself. And we could not manage our bowling options. Some bowlers had longer spells and some others had shorter ones," said Yadav after his bowlers allowed England XI to escape from the lunchtime score of 66 for 4.

    "In the first session our bowlers got good help from the pitch but later on they batted very well. Both (Jonny) Bairstow and Eoin Morgan (73) batted really well. We could not capitalize on the good start and gave away runs," said Yadav who was among the part-time bowlers employed during the day.

    Mumbai A bowlers sent back Joe Root, Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell before lunch, but then could not sustain the momentum, Yadav conceded.

    He sounded unhappy with the performance of the part-timers and said the part-timers did not bowl well though (Shikhar) Dhawan bowled well in patches.

    Asked why the lone frontline spinner Sagar Gorivale was not played, he said, "it was a management committee decision".

    Asked whether there was any instruction from selection committee chairman not to field the spinner, Yadav said, "No. The captain coach and other management members of the team decided not to play Gorivale."

    Asked about captaining the side, the middle order batsman said, "I was very excited to lead against a national side since yesterday."

    Bairstow, who made 118 in 177 balls and 261 minutes and also put on a 156-run crucial stand with Morgan to rescue his team after lunch, hoped the innings would clinch him a place in the first Test squad.

    "Hopefully this innings would put me in content_cnion for the first Test squad and not only for the second Test when Ian Bell will be going home," he said.

    Bell is set to return home for personal reasons after playing the opening Test starting at Ahmedabad from November 15, skipping the second match in Mumbai (Nov 23-27) to be in time for the expected birth of his child.

    Bairstow said the long stay at the crease would stand him in good stead.
    "It's obviously good to spend time in the middle on Indian surfaces," he said, adding, "I am pleased with the way I hit the ball."

    "I have been working for the last six to 12 months with Graham Gooch (batting coach) and (team director) Andy Flower.
    I am happy with the direction it (my training) has been going," he said.