India A vs New Zealand A, 2020: 4 standout India A players from the unofficial ODI series

India A lost the three-match series by 2-1.

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India A. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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While the Virat Kohli’s Team India is busy dominating Kane Williamson’s men in the five-match T20I series, the India A team suffered a 1-2 series defeat against New Zealand A in the three-match unofficial ODI series. India A’s tour of New Zealand began with the One Day warm-up games (two matches) which the visitors won comfortably. It was followed by the three unofficial ODIs with the series opener being played at Lincoln after which the caravan headed to Christchurch for the remaining two fixtures.

Despite a five-wicket win in the first game, India A failed to clinch the series having lost the next two matches by 29 runs and 5 runs respectively. Overall, it was a clinical display from the Tom Bruce-led New Zealand A side who made a strong comeback despite trailing 0-1 after losing the first game at Bert Sutcliffe Oval.

Now, both these sides will lock horns in the two unofficial Tests beginning on January 30 at Christchurch before moving to Lincoln for the remaining fixture. Despite going down 1-2, India A put up a strong performance in all three matches and there are plenty of positives to take from this series.

On that note, let us look at four players who were exceptional for India A in the three-match unofficial ODI series against New Zealand A.

Four India A players who impressed in the series:

1) Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Ishan Kishan finished as India A’s highest run-getter (third overall) in the series having amassed 115 runs. The 21-year-old wicket-keeper batsman came up with crucial knocks under pressure for India A while chasing in both the matches he played. After scoring 44 (55) in the second game, the Mumbai Indians star top-scored for his side and almost helped them clinch the series decider with a magnificent 71* (84 balls) that included eight fours.

Despite his valiant knock, India A fell short of the target (271 runs) by just five runs. Ishan was also brilliant with his glovework behind the stumps taking two catches each in the second and third ODIs respectively. The youngster who impressed everyone in the domestic circuit and IPL has once again proved as to why he is one of the wicket-keeper batsmen to watch out for in future with his batting and wicket-keeping credentials in this series.

Ishan Kishan is also under the selectors’ radar as India continue to find a long term replacement for MS Dhoni in both ODIs and T20Is.

2) Ishan Porel

Ishan Porel
Ishan Porel. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

The Bengal pacer has been performing well for his state in the domestic circuit for quite some time now. It is no surprise that he continued his impressive run against New Zealand A in the unofficial ODIs where he emerged as the highest wicket-taker (overall) in the series with six wickets to his name in just two matches. He took two wickets in India A’s 12-run victory in the second one-day warm-up game prior to the unofficial ODIs.

After missing the first game at Lincoln, the 21-year-old took three wickets each in the next two outings to emerge as the best bowler in the three-match series. Interestingly, it was at this very venue (Hagley Oval, Christchurch) where Porel registered the figures of 4/17 against arch-rivals Pakistan Under 19s in the semi-final of India’s victorious 2018 campaign.

Having impressed everyone on Indian conditions, it was a top-notch bowling performance from Ishan Porel who has replicated his success in the overseas conditions as well. After missing out on the IPL contract in the last two editions, Ishan will be in action for Kings XI Punjab at 2020 IPL after being bought at his base price of INR 20 lakh.

3) Prithvi Shaw

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Prithvi Shaw who scored a scintillating 150 off 100 balls in the second one-day warm-up game against New Zealand XI continued his impressive run into the unofficial ODIs as well. He scored 105 runs in three innings thereby ending the series as India A’s second-best batsman. Adding to this, 2018 Under 19 World Cup-winning skipper registered the best strike-rate in the ODI series (140.00).

Amidst much expectations, Prithvi Shaw has once again made it to team India courtesy his knock in the warm-up game- this time in the ODI squad for the three-match series as a replacement to his injured Delhi Capitals colleague Shikhar Dhawan.

The talented 20-year-old batsman who has also been named in India A squad for the two-match unofficial Test series against New Zealand A beginning on January 30th is likely to join Team India for the three-match ODI series after the first unofficial Test. Since returning from the ban, Shaw has been sensational with the willow and it will be interesting to see how well he maintains his consistency in the upcoming games.

4) Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj. (Photo by Mark Brake – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

Mohammed Siraj, who scalped three wickets in the two one day warm-up games prior to the unofficial ODIs took five wickets in the two matches he played- just one less than the highest wicket-taker Ishan Porel. The 25-year-old was the chief tormentor with the ball in the first game helping India A restrict the opposition to 230 runs which the visiting side chased down comfortably in just 29.3 overs at the loss of five wickets.

The pacer will be hoping to replicate his performance with the cherry during the two-match unofficial Tests having performed well in the tour so far. A forgettable 2019 IPL with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) saw Siraj finishing with seven wickets in nine matches at an economy of 9.55.

Though he was expected to be released ahead of 2020 IPL auction, the franchise decided to retain believing in his potential to bounce back. Given his current form (17 wickers in Ranji Trophy for Hyderabad so far) Siraj might repay his franchise’s faith in him by making a strong comeback in 2020 IPL and make a mark for himself with top-class bowling for Virat Kohli’s men.