New Delhi: Manprit Juneja’s patient innings of 178 not out helped India A reduce the lead to only 29 runs at the end of the third day of their match against New Zealand A, on Wednesday.
He showed good temperament, mixing caution with aggression during his 336-ball stay at the crease. He hit 19 boundaries and a six.
While his temperament is fit for the longer version of the game, Juneja feels it was his stint with Delhi DareDevils which helped him play the innings.
The batsman says he is enjoying the positives gained for having been with DareDevils for two seasons.
“Their premier bowler is Doug Bracewell and having faced him at the DareDevils nets have really helped me. I have had long net sessions against Bracewell and knew at what pace he bowls and his areas of strength,” Juneja said.
“I would say every tournament has its pluses, whether it’s Ranji Trophy which helps you in preparing for longer format or Indian Premier League (IPL), where you get to play the best bowlers. The small contributions that I made in IPL (48 vs MI at Wankhede) had helped me evolve as a player,” Juneja added.
Asked whether he rates his knock of 178 not out above his debut double hundred against Tamil Nadu in Ranji Trophy, the 22-year-old said: “No, I think my debut double hundred was a better effort.
“Today’s innings was satisfying but I am not entirely happy. I am happy I have managed to bat the whole day. Also would like to thank Jagadeesh and Nayar bhai (Abhishek) for their support.”
With 22 runs required to score a double hundred, is he tensed? He said: “I would have been tense if I would be 190 not out but not at 178 not out. It’s still some distance to go,” the stylish right-hander said.
Asked if an outright victory is possible, Juneja said, “We will be positive from the start and see how it goes. The pitch is a slow one and one has to work really hard as a bowler to make things happen.”