Bangalore: The India A tour of the Caribbean was expected to throw up options for the national selectors from a batting perspective, especially with the search for a replacement for Rahul Dravid a priority area. But after a 1-2 series loss to West Indies A in the first-class leg of the tour, only Cheteshwar Pujara has put his hand up.
The quartet of Ajinkya Rahane, Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary must have hoped to stake claims during the three four-day fixtures against West Indies A. Pujara apart, however, no one else came even close to making a case for himself. Question marks, therefore, have arisen over their temperament and the technique required to counter challenging conditions overseas.
The selectors picked the strongest possible batting unit for the tour outside of the established Test batsmen. Pujara, the captain who finished with 252 runs from six innings, did impress, but none of the others could come to grips with the conditions. Pujara saw the team through in a tense chase with an unbeaten 96 at Barbados in the opening game, the only bright spot in an otherwise forgettable outing. Pujara backed up that effort with two more fifties to finish the tour well ahead of the rest on the table of averages (see box).