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Dhawal Kulkarni: Are the Indian selectors taking note of him?

Dhawal Kulkarni picked 4 wickets in the tournament including a match-winning performance of five for 54 against South Africa A © IANS (File Photo)
Dhawal Kulkarni picked 14 wickets in the tournament including a match-winning performance of five for 54 against South Africa A © IANS (File Photo)

India A should take a lot of positives back home from its win against Australia A in the final of the Quadrangular Series. Though the team fired on nearly occasions as a whole, its bowling unit is one that needs a special recognition, due to the fact that the Indians were not favoured to shine with the ball in Antipodean conditions. Amit Banerjee finds out more on the India A bowling unit and its role in the series.

India A emerged winners at the final of the Quadrangular series against Australia A, mainly due to the heroics of the middle-order batsmen, with Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav and Rishi Dhawan posting half-centuries to guide their team to an unlikely victory.

India A’s bowling performance however, has been worthy enough for the national selectors get interested in. The quadrangular tournament, which has somewhat served as a talent scout for the participating teams and their boards, has unearthed a few gems in the Indian bowling. A few names worth mentioning in this context would be Dhawal Kulkarni, Akshar Patel, Mohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary.

Kulkarni has been phenomenal with the ball throughout the tournament, finishing as the highest-wicket taker in the series with 14 wickets for 263 runs. 11 of those wickets came in just three matches, which included a fabulous spell of 5-54 in their 70-run win against South Africa A. The Mumbai-born medium pacer’s exploits  should open a spot for him in the bowling unit for the upcoming tournaments, including India’s tour to Australia as well as the upcoming World Cup.

The only other Indians to figure in the list of top ten wicket takers of the tournament are Akshar Patel and Mohit Sharma. Patel and Sharma picked nine and eight wickets to finish at the eighth and ninth positions respectively. Patel was instrumental in India A’s win in the final after he put up a 93-run partnership with Rishi Dhawan to pull their team from the jaws of defeat to a thrilling victory. Sharma on the other hand starred in India A’s six-wicket win over the National Performance Squad (NPS) with figures of four for 48.

Manoj Tiwary is the other notable mention in this article. The Bengal batsman, who last played in an Indian jersey as recent as June this year against Bangladesh, gave an exceptional performance against Australia A in their second group game at Darwin. Tiwary’s figures of five for 34  helped dismiss Australia A for 228, which was easily overcome by the Indians with 5 wickets to spare. Tiwary’s figures are also the best in the tournament after Mthokozisi Shezi’s six for 42.

Player Matches Wickets Runs Best Bowling
Dhawal Kulkarni 6 14 263 5 for 54
Akshar Patel 6 9 260 3 for 30
Mohit Sharma 6 8 231 4 for 48
Manoj Tiwary 7 5 89 5 for 34
Rishi Dhawan 4 5 181 2 for 38

The Quadrangular series has been a good chapter for Indian cricket, with the nation’s second best XI winning six out their seven games and performing both with the bat and the ball. This is bound to have an impact on the BCCI selection panel, who should find some ideal replacements in the bowling unit.

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, traveling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)

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