| Shiv Sundar Das
Bhubaneswar, June 21 (PTI): India A captain Shiv Sundar Das thinks his team is well balanced and will try to win at least 70 per cent of the matches on their upcoming tour of England.
“Several players of the team have played for the country at the senior level, either in Tests or ODIs,” Das said. “I will be happy if we can win 70 per cent of the matches there.”
Das said the team was upbeat and confident. “I am confident of the team performing well although the conditions there are quite different,” he said.
He was hopeful of doing well personally and setting an example for his teammates. “I have returned from England recently where I was playing for Newton le Willows, a Lancashire team, and I hope it will not be much difficult for me to adapt to the conditions.”
Das left for Mumbai Saturday, from where the team will fly out for England on the 45-day tour.
The diminutive opener picked the three-day match against South Africa at Arundel from July 19- 21 as the biggest challenge of the tour.
Das, who had captained the India under-17 team to England in 1996-97, said he was honoured by the responsibility bestowed on him once again. He also led the Elite C team to victory in the Duleep Trophy in the previous season.
Das, who made his Test debut against Bangladesh in November 2000, played 23 Tests as opener, scoring 1326 runs at 34.89 with two centuries and nine fifties. Although he was in the team during the tour of England and New Zealand last year, he did not get a chance to break into the playing 11.
Referring to his stint in Liverpool, Das said he played only four games and had a highest score of 85 in the last tie before he had to rush back to Bangalore for the India A camp. Asked about the camp, Das said the thrust had been on physical fitness and fielding.
Meanwhile, India A coach Sandeep Patil felt the tour has come “at the right time” but added a couple of Test matches would have been better for the youngsters.
“I would have preferred a couple of Test matches. A Test match is more competitive than a three or a four-day game,” Patil said. “However, I’m fully satisfied with the present itinerary and all the 16 players will get their chance,” he added.
He even felt the five opening batsmen would get enough chances as “their styles are different and will suit different conditions”.
Patil ruled out experimenting with Parthiv Patel as an opener but said the wicketkeeper-batsman might be promoted up the batting order.
He added all the team members were fully fit and the 18-day camp “was a huge success”.