New Zealand A set to take on India A at Lincoln

The Indian A cricket team arrived in Christchurch on Saturday, ahead of their five match series against New Zealand A at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln.

The two and a half week tour will consist of three ODIs, one three-day match and a four-day match.

India have squad of 16 and will be captained by Abhinav Mukund. The 22 year-old is one of four players to have represented India at the top level.

Alongside those more experienced members India have nine players under the age of 23. One of those is recent Under-19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand. The19 year-old struck an unbeaten 111 in the final of the recent tournament and caught the eye of NZC selection Manager Kim Littlejohn.

“There are some exciting young players in the Indian side with a number of guys with international experience,” said Littlejohn.

“I was fortunate enough to see the Indian captain Unmukt Chand play in the recent Under-19 World Cup and he was really impressive.”

The Indian side will undoubtedly be a challenging task, but New Zealand also have quality cricketers within the group.

Nine players in the 50-over squad have previously featured for the BLACKCAPS, while the three-day/four-day side have ten former representatives.

Littlejohn is confident with the side picked, but believes that the series is also about the players developing their skills to cope against world-class opposition.

“We’ve got a number of experienced players as well as some young guys pressing for a spot in the BLACKCAPS,” said Littlejohn.

“The squad includes Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Daniel Flynn who have recently returned from India alongside George Worker and Hamish Rutherford who are exciting young for the future.

“A key part of the series is to give guys the opportunity to experience international cricket and get a feel for what is required to take the next step.”

It will be the first series of the summer to be played at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, but it won’t be a completely new setting to all of the Indian team, with a number of their squad having played at the venue in the 2010 ICC Under-19 World Cup.

While New Zealand might benefit a little playing in their own conditions, it’s expected the pitch should provide a great surface for some entertaining cricket.

“There might be a slight advantage to the home side, but I think it looks like a fairly even cricket wicket,” said Littlejohn.

“One thing that really needs to be highlighted is that the ground-staff have done a fantastic job to produce some really quality surfaces.

“This ground here is as good as anything you’d find in the world in terms of international cricket.”

All games will start at 10:30am and be free entry to the public.

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