India ~~A~~ hopeful of a repeat performance

Published: Saturday, December 6, 2003, 1:48 [IST]
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Mumbai: India 'A', who are 1-0 up after their innings and 92-run win against Sri Lanka 'A' in the second Test at Pune recently, are all set to wrap up the three- match series when they take on their neighbours in the four-day third and final Test at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. With the India 'A' players showing improvement in every outing and the pitch expected to assist the spinners, the home team has a clear edge over the visitors, already short on confidence. However, India 'A' coach and former Test star Sandeep Patil said that all he is expecting from his boys is further improvement from the previous two games. "Cricket is a funny game and I don't like to predict anything. Though the Lankans are 0-1 down, they can come back with vengeance and level the series. I only hope my boys show further improvement in the third Test as they have been doing in this series," he added. Praising south paw Rohan Gavaskar's 173 and Gautam Gambir's 131 in the previous match, Patil said, "Rohan showed he has real class by batting for seven hours. He made batting look very easy along with Gautam, who gave us the start which we badly needed and from then on the boys never looked back". Patil did not rule out resting one of his fast bowlers -- either Amit Bhandari or Munaf Patel -- who have been bowling very well. "The selectors want the players to be rotated so that everybody gets a chance hence it will not be a surprise if we leave out a couple of bowlers to accommodate others," Patil added.

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