India ‘A’ put up an all-round show against the England Lions on Monday as they won the A-team tri-series. It was a clinical show from the players — right through the tournament — as India ‘A’ had four hundreds by three batsmen and four players averaged more than 50. In the bowling department, Chahar claimed 10 wickets while Shardul Thakur, Khaleel and Axar Patel also impressed in unfamiliar conditions. This has pleased coach Rahul Dravid who was happy to see the players apply themselves in conditions they aren’t used to back in India.
"A lot of these tours aren't necessarily about winning, but I think the quality of cricket we've played throughout this tournament - except for the first game where we didn't bat particularly well - has been really good," Dravid told ESPNcricinfo. "A lot of the boys have had their first-time exposure to these conditions; we tried to rotate the squad as much as we could and give everyone decent opportunities.
"It's been quite satisfying, some good performances. A tough game today as well, we had to fight back with the ball and the bat - so good to see them fight, good to see them compete in these conditions. Definitely some positives, as well as seeing some of the boys get into the national side as well, irrespective of the result.
"Especially with the World Cup in a year's time, it's nice to have bench strength, for the selectors to know there are good young players if the situation does arise. It's nice to replicate this experience leading into the World Cup, to give these boys some exposure in these conditions."
Dravid picked the pacers for special mention as he felt they were on the top of their mark from the word go and matched the home team’s pace attack with their precision.
"There's a good bench strength being developed and I think it gives people a lot of confidence that there are players, if the situation arises, who are in good touch and playing well," Dravid said. "Over the last couple of years, we've done really quite well in white-ball cricket at this level, built up quite a few players - so that's a good thing for Indian cricket.
"All the quicks were really good, we rotated the four of them and all of them had their moments and did well in the series. I think we've got a really strong bowling attack at the moment, with the India side, a lot of variation and depth, and it's nice to see we've got another batch there in case of injuries. Especially with the fast-bowling department, you need back-ups and people who can come in - we've got Deepak and Shardul [in India's last series before this tour] joining the national team due to injuries. It's good to see the fast bowlers coming through and almost out-bowl some of the English seamers in these conditions, which is a really good sign for us."