Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan picked up three wickets as India A beat West Indies A by an innings and 54 runs © Getty Images

Hubli: Oct 12, 2013

India A captain Cheteshwar Pujara lavished praise on his fast bowling department for charting an impressive innings and 54 runs win over West Indies A in the third and final unofficial Test in Hubli on Saturday.

“Their strength was spin and ours was fast bowling. There was enough help for fast bowlers and wasn’t much for spinners.

I think their fast bowlers didn’t bowl well, but ours did better which was required,” Pujara told reporters after the match.

Out-of-favour Zaheer Khan sparked a sensational West Indies A collapse with his three-wicket burst as the visitors conceded the match at 242 for nine in their second innings in the 13th over after lunch on the final day at KSCA Stadium.

The left-arm seamer bagged four for 59 in the second innings to help India A level the three-match series 1-1.

Pujara said the team was confident of getting Narasingh Deonarine out as the Indian quickies were getting help from the track.

“We knew their wicketkeeper [Chadwick Walton] will not bat [due to injury]. So, we wanted one wicket and were confident of having him,” he said.

Pujara, who hit a magnificent 306 not out in the first innings, said the failure in first two Test matches motivated him to play a big knock.

“When I get to my hundred, that’s when I start playing my strokes because I know the conditions and capitalise on bowlers getting tired.

“It is not an easy job to bat for nearly ten hours which requires a lot of stamina. I had been working on it for the last four to five months,” he said.

The Saurashtrian run-machine rated his third triple hundred as one of the best innings in domestic circuit because the track was helping the fast bowlers.

On Zaheer’s five-wicket haul (five for 92) in the match, India A coach Lalchand Rajput said the Mumbaikar was slowly getting into the groove and certainly looks match-fit.

“In the first innings, Zaheer bowled really well. I am sure these [First-Class] matches will help him get back to his rhythm,” he said.