'A' tours are here to stay, says Patil

Published: Thursday, July 15, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:"Seven boys from India 'A' actually played for the senior team last year, and we want to continue with that positive trend," India 'A' coach SandeepPatil says.

"India 'A' concept has been on for a long time. It has certainly given us results. I am happy that last year seven boys from India 'A' actually played for the senior team which is certainly a positive sign, good result. We want to continue with that,", Patil added.

"My job is to tune them," he said on the sidelines of a preparatory camp for the side ahead of the twin tours of Zimbabwe and Kenya. "Step which they have to take...one step forward to be in the Indian team".

"They are not in India 'A' because they lack something... because our senior team is doing such a great job,...unless there is injury or change of combination....then these guys should be ready".

And on the preparatory camp, Patil said he is trying to follow what the senior team has been doing. "Luckily, they (most of the India 'A' players) were in the camp last month...all of them look fit and fine. We just want to carry on from where they have left with John Wright, Gregory Kingand Andrew Leipus".

Every tour is interesting, he said on the Zimbabwe/Kenya trip. "Gameplan is the opportunity that they are going to get. They (players) must grab the opportunity and show consistency".

"If they want to be regular members in the senior side, such tours give opportunity for selectors; and for the players to show their mettle, skills," the former coach of the senior team said. "I am happy with the way things are shaping up for India 'A'.

Sairaj Bahutule-led India 'A' has among its ranks Aakash Chopra, Hemang Badani, Ramesh Powar, Gautam Gambhir, Rohan Gavaskar, Aavishkar Salvi, Munaf Patel, Amit Bhandari and S S Paul.

"It's going to be important series for team members because their performance will count for the selection for International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy," Patil said.

Asked about his personal roadmap for the next few years, Patil said he just wants to give whatever "little experience he has," and things he has learnt from his seniors. "If I can pass it on to anybody in cricket....be it Indian players...be it outside India...I will be too happy".

He said he is just back after a one-month coaching stint with Oman which did excellently in the 15-nation ICC tournament recently.

"I had a major left shoulder surgery in January. Without Ananth Joshi's help, my career would have finished," he said, adding, it took him five months to recover, after which he coached the Oman team.

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