Ind A vs NZ A, Unofficial ODIs: Sanju Samson top run-scorer; Kuldeep Yadav tops wicket-takers’ list

India A vs New Zealand A, Unofficial ODIs: Sanju Samson top run-scorer (120 runs); Kuldeep Yadav tops wicket-takers’ list (7 wickets).

New Zealand A tour of India: Sanju Samson scored 120 runs from 3 games against New Zealand A in three match ODI series | Walking Wicket (Image: ©File Photo)
Sanju Samson scored 120 runs from 3 games against New Zealand A (Image: ©File Photo)

Nearly three years after their last home game, India A returned to action in recent weeks, taking on New Zealand A. The first two red-ball games were hampered by rain before India A won the third game by 113 runs in Bengaluru. But after that, it was time for the white ball to play its music. And not surprisingly India had the best of their time against the Kiwis with the white ball as well winning the series 3-0.


Sanju Samson shows class with bat and maturity in captaincy

Sanju Samson has had an incredible past few months. Following his strong performances for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and also for Team India against Zimbabwe, he demonstrated his ability to score big runs for India A and also at the international level recently.


The Kerala batter scored a total of 120 runs in 3 innings for India A against New Zealand A in the ODI series played in Chennai, finishing with an average of 60 and strike rate of 88.88, with his highest score coming in the 3rd and final unofficial ODI (54). He also finished as the top run-getter in the series across sides.


Calmness is another mental trait that he excels at in all formats. Sanju remained calm throughout the ODI series, even when tested with difficult situations and tactical moves by the Kiwi team. Sanju Samson is proving himself to be a great leader; he also took out the best from every player. From youngsters such as Kuldeep Sen to experienced campaigners like Kuldeep Yadav, Sanju extracted the best out of them. Following his great leadership skills, Sanju might also be awarded Team India’s vice-captain role in absence of KL Rahul who will be out of action in the upcoming ODI series against the Proteas.


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New Zealand A tour of India: Kuldeep Sen took 2 wickets from 3 games against New Zealand A in three match ODI series | Walking Wicket (Image: ©BCCI/IPL)
Kuldeep Sen took 2 wickets from 3 games against New Zealand A (Image: ©BCCI/IPL)

Kuldeep Sen’s pace destroyed the Kiwis

Coming from the small town of Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, Kuldeep Sen first proved his worth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by bowling some brilliant death overs for Rajasthan Royals (RR) against some of the best batters in the game and is now at the India A level proving how lethal he can be for the opposition batters.


Kuldeep Sen is one of the few rare talents in the country who can bowl comfortably around the 145 kmph mark which is quite rare in the domestic circuit. In the days gone by, fast bowlers were often not encouraged enough as compared to a batter of top quality; but slowly and steadily tables have turned, and quick bowlers like Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh and Kuldeep Sen are now getting into the groove.


Talking about his India A debut, Kuldeep Sen with his raw pace bowled some unplayable balls to the Kiwi top-order which absolutely bamboozled them. Kuldeep struck Kiwi opener Rachin Ravindra getting him caught behind and following that he also trapped the number 3 batter Joe Carter leg before wicket in the first ODI. Kuldeep finished the match with figures of 7-0-30-3. Though Kuldeep Sen was not amongst the wickets in the following two matches but the fact that he is one of the rare talents in the country who has some serious raw pace and decent control that cannot be ignored and must be looked after.


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New Zealand A tour of India: Kuldeep Yadav took 7 wickets from 3 games against New Zealand A in three match ODI series | Walking Wicket (Image: ©BCCI)
Kuldeep Yadav took 7 wickets from 3 games against New Zealand A (Image: ©BCCI)

Kuldeep Yadav’s Hat-Trick

Each time Kuldeep Yadav bowled, there seemed to be a buzz around him. The left-arm wrist spinner from Kanpur is known for creating miracles out of nothing. The same happened when the bowler was given the ball by skipper Sanju Samson in the 3rd and final ODI against New Zealand A.


Kuldeep Yadav destroyed the Kiwi tail with his brilliant left-arm chinaman bowling. Kiwis throughout the series had no clue about Kuldeep’s chinaman and flippers, although the bowler was not able to get wickets at regular intervals during the first ODI. But the chinaman saved his best for the last and he deliver with a brilliant hat-trick in the second ODI and followed it up with another two wickets in the last ODI.


Yadav emerged as the top wicket-taker across sides in the three-match ODI series between India A and New Zealand A, with 7 wickets at a strike rate of 21.4 and economy rate of 4.08.


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New Zealand A tour of India: Prithvi Shaw scored 94 runs from 2 games against New Zealand in three match ODI series _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Prithvi Shaw scored 94 runs in 2 games against New Zealand A (Photo: ©AFP/Getty Images)

Prithvi Shaw’s aggressive strokeplay

After being dropped from Team India, Prithvi Shaw has been proving his worth in the domestic circuit for the past years.


Prithvi Shaw was selected for the India A ODI squad to prove his worth. The right-hand opener from Mumbai didn’t fail to perform against the mighty New Zealand A bowlers who were bowled quite well with the new ball in the whole series.


Shaw played an absolutely brilliant counter-attacking inning in the 2nd unofficial ODI tearing the Kiwi bowlers apart. Shaw scored a blistering knock of 77 runs in just 48 balls, with 11 boundaries and 3 breathtaking sixes to take India A home by a margin of 4 wickets and 16 overs remaining.


Following his brilliant performance against the New Zealand A, Shaw has proved himself for the spot in the Indian side as an opener with some magnificent performances. Moreover, with KL Rahul’s injury concerns going on, Prithvi Shaw’s comeback is definitely on the cards.


Young Faces Shine

During the series, India A had quite a few ODI debutants in the likes of Rajat Patidar and Tilak Varma. Talking about the young Mumbai Indians (MI) batter Tilak Varma, he is an absolute superstar for the future. With age on his side and the type of maturity he has shown till now, the future is looking bright for this 20-year-old Hyderabad boy. Tilak scored a crucial 50 in the 3rd unofficial ODI against New Zealand A when India A needed him the most. Varma got his eyes in very well, before playing some exclusive shots through covers and mid-on to help India A complete a clean sweep of 3-0 against the Kiwis.


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