Indian cricket appears to be in safe hands. On Thursday, India’s young ‘A’ team, led by Ajinkya Rahane, defeated a strong England XI by six wickets in the second practice ODI, chasing down the challenging 282-run target with more than 10 overs to spare.
Youngsters shone bright for the home team. Skipper Rahane stroked a fluent 91 (83b, 10×4, 1×6) while Saurashtra batsman Sheldon Jackson gave him company with a languid 59. The opening pair added 119 before Jackson was dismissed.
There was, however, no let up in the scoring rate. Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman and India U-19 star Rishabh Pant hammered out 59 (36b, 8×4, 2×6) and partnered Suresh Raina (45, 34b, 7×4) in an electric 78-run stand.
England XI had earlier made a terrific start after winning the toss with half-centuries from Hales (51) and Bairstow (64). A tight spell of spin bowling from Parvez Rasool (3/38) triggered a miniature collapse for the visitors and reduced them to 198/8.
A last wicket association of 71 between Adil Rashid (39) and David Willey (38) helped England XI to 282, before the innings concluded 7 balls before its stipulated quota.
The teams now move to Pune for Sunday’s first of three ODIs.
Brief scores: England XI 282 in 48.5 overs (Jonny Bairstow 64, Alex Hales 51, Parvez Rasool 3/38) lost to India ‘A’ 283/3 in 39.4 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 91, Rishabh Pant 59, Sheldon Jackson 59, David Wiley 1/32)