Mumbai: Classy Maharashtra batsman Ankit Bawne is keen to bat without being weighed down by undue pressure on the upcoming India A tour of England. Bawne is also confident that he has left no stone unturned in his preparations for the tour and has been practising on pitches favouring bowlers at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
“Yes, absolutely (I am geared up) and the preparations have been done. Our camp and fitness tests were going on in Bengaluru. We are practising on bowling-friendly pitches in Bengaluru,” Bawne said.
“Last week, my entire focus was on middling the ball and playing (against) swing bowling to the maximum (extent) with the help of the bowling machine,” he said.
India A will play a four-day match against England A from July 16-19 at Worcester, apart from a couple of three-day games against county sides. Bawne has also been seeking guidance from experienced former Test players like Kiran More and W V Raman for the upcoming challenge.
“My other area of focus is how to build my innings and how to leave the balls. I have been taking outputs from W V Raman, Amol Mazumdar and Kiran More, on the nature of pitches in England,” the 25-year-old noted.
Bawne is not new to the India A squad, having played against South Africa A and New Zealand A in the past. So now he just wants to go out in the middle and express himself.
“I feel that this is good opportunity and taking it positively rather than being pressurised. I have nothing to lose and I have to just go out there and enjoy my batting.
“I am thinking that I will try and express myself. If it is my day, may be I will get a century. This is good opportunity and it will be nice experience to bat in England and face some quality bowlers,” explained Bawne who has amassed 5,367 runs in 78 first-class matches.
Bawne plans to play in the four-day game with the same attitude when he plays a Ranji Trophy game.
“I will play that game in the same way I play in the Ranji trophy, where I want to perform, without taking pressure of selection (for the national team).”
Bawne has also talked to Maharashtra coach and ex-national selector Surendra Bhave about the tour.
“Surendra sir told me that if I bat the way I have been batting and in the same flow, then no one can stop me,”