Playing their first match of the series yesterday, India A were soundly thrashed by Australia A at the M A Chidambaram Stadium. The 119-run defeat notwithstanding, coach Rahul Dravid is confident of a turnaround .
But for that to happen, the Indians will have to execute their plans better.
The Indian medium pacers -- Dhawal Kulkarini and Sandeep Sharma -- did not give enough width to the Australian opening batsmen Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns initially but, as they settled down, the two batsmen carted the bowlers, especially the spinners, to hit 15 sixes in the innings while putting on 239 runs.
At the net sessions today, Dravid was seen spending a lot of time with the players and urged the bowlers to bowl wicket to wicket. With the pitch playing slow, his message to the batsmen was to play a little late and stick around in the middle.
Unlike the game against the Australians, it will be vital for the Indian batsmen to build partnerships in order to put up a big total.
While skipper Unmukt Chand and Kedar Jadhav posted 50-plus scores, others like Mayank Agarwal, Manish Tiwary and Karun Nair failed to impress getting out for low scores against Australia A. They will have to come up with an improved performance against the Proteas tomorrow.
The South Africans have been boosted by the arrival of wicketkeeper-cum-opening batsman Quinton de Kock, who has had the experience of playing in these conditions for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils in two seasons of Indian Premier League.
South Africa A's batting line-up is solid with Reeza Hendricks, captain Dean Elgar, Theunis Bruyn and Cody Chetty forming the top-order.
In the bowling department, they boast of Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Hardus Vilijoen, Beuran Hendricks, Wayne Parnell, Eddie Lee, besides Elgar, who is a medium pacer with ability to bowl off breaks as well.

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