All eyes on Yuvraj Singh as India A take on West Indies A

PTI Posted online: Saturday, Sep 14, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Bangalore : Yuvraj Singh would be the cynosure of all eyes when he captains India A, a team on a roll after the cleansweep against New Zealand A, in an ODI series against the West Indies A starting here tomorrow. Also read: Big guns named in India 'A' team against West Indies 'A'

The glory of thrashing New Zealand A 3-0 was achieved under the captaincy of Unmukt Chand, who perfectly marshalled his team to victory. Also read: I am really confident of making a comeback: Yuvraj Singh

All eyes, however, will be trained on how Yuvraj, who has been out of favour in the recent times, handles the team as a captain against the West Indians. The left-hander, who battled and won over cancer, would be aiming to get back into the reckoning. Also read: In 'most critical phase of career', Yuvraj Singh prepares to start from scratch

Yuvraj is more often seen as a brutal force in limited overs cricket than in Tests with his ability to hit the ball clean and long. Also read: Injured Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan ruled of India A series against West Indies

Yuvraj aside, India A has its share of stars. Unmukt has scored 164 runs at an average of 48 with 94 being his highest in the three ODIs against New Zealand A, while Robin Uthappa has also scored a century in the lung-opener. Also read: Selection of seniors in India A is a show of both intent, faith

The Under-19 World Cup-winning captain would look for another good show from his bat to help his team get a good start.

Uthappa, who is in ODI exile, would be hoping to produce another sparkling show after the opening ODI ton to catch the eyes of national selectors given that a limited overs series against West Indies and South Africa is in sight.

Yuvraj will be hoping for Uthappa and Chand to dazzle in the opening ODI to give a boost to the middle-order, which came good in the last two ODIs against New Zealand A with the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Mandeep Singh rising to the occasion.

Jadhav has delivered consistently, making unbeaten 30, 37 and 57, respectively in the last series. The Maharashtra batsman will be hoping to get a chance to go up the order to showcase his talent.

Yusuf Pathan, who has been provided another lifeline by selectors, will hope to recover from his steep fall since the 2011 World Cup. He is a powerful and aggressive right-handed batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler.

The Indian attack will be spearheaded by Irfan Pathan, who is looking for his comeback to the Indian Test team.

Irfan was ruled out of the team for the tri-series in the Caribbean due to a hamstring injury.

Jaydev Unadkat, who did well during India's tour of Zimbabwe, will aim to continue using this series to put out his best and make a strong case for himself in the senior team. He has the fire in his belly and an uncanny knack to up the ante with his deceptive pace.

Praveen Kumar will look to get back into the scheme of things with his ability to swing the ball both ways.

The West Indies A, on the other hand, who performed well during their home series against Sri Lanka-A in June, will aim for improvement, starting with the first ODI.

A number of young West Indian players will try to grab the opportunity to show their skills, especially with the senior team set to tour India next month.

Kieran Powell, one of the players looking to formalise his place in the senior side, has been handed the reins of captaincy and head coach Junior Bennett has high hopes from the left-handed opener from Nevis.

Besides Powell, the side for the three 50-over contests and the one Twenty20 game includes the likes of vice-captain Veerasammy Permaul, Andre Russell, Andre Fletcher, Devon Thomas, Kirk Edwards, Nikita Miller and Narsingh Deonarine,

all of whom have featured in the senior team.

Meanwhile, in a press release, the KSCA announced that entry for the public would be free for the entire tour, including the four-day games-in Mysore, Shimoga and Hubli-that follow the limited-over series in Bangalore.

India A: Yuvraj Singh (captain), Unmukt Chand, Robin Uthappa, Baba Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Jaydev Unadkat, Praveen Kumar, Sumit Narwal, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mandeep Singh, Rahul Sharma.

West Indies A: Kieran Powell (capt.), Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton, Nkrumah Bonner, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Miguel Cummins, Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Leon Johnson, Nikita Miller, Ashley Nurse, Andre Russell, and Devon Thomas.