THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: India A will face England Lions in their first one-day match at Sports Hub in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. The series holds significance as the selectors would be keeping a close eye on the proceedings as the World Cup is slated to begin in four months time.
Ajinkya Rahane, skipper for the first three matches, said playing for India A team is a great opportunity to perform well and go on to represent the country, but added that right now he was focussing on the tournament. “Each tournament is important and the players wants to perform consistently. It’s imperative that one puts in his 100 per cent on the field,” said Rahane.
England Lions captain Sam Billings said the tournament is incredibly important for them as a team and as a player as its a big year for England cricket with the World Cup and Ashes around the corner.“If you can perform well in India, it’s a great showing of you as a player and a team. If we can perform in these conditions, it speaks a lot. This tournament is important for all,” said Billings.
He added that his team did not play to their potential in the first two warm-up matches that they had lost to Board Presidents IX, but hoped that the side will peak in the right time. Lions’ coach Andy Flower said though the England ODI team for the World Cup was more or less been set, this tournament will help the selectors have aa good information about the blokes in case the main players suffer injuries or jaded form. “The vagaries of form and injuries will be there in the run up to the World Cup. No one knows whether the places are going to get opened up. One of the English selectors, James Taylor, will be watching the game,” Flower said.
The match will start at 9 am and the entry is free for the public. The public can use sectors A and B in the gallery and the entry is through gate number 1.