Suresh Raina defends team selection

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 31, 2012 17:05 hrs

Mumbai, Oct 31 (IBNS) India A skipper Suresh Raina on Wednesday defended the decision of not including any front-line spinner in the team and said he and Yuvraj Singh bowled well against England XI in the warm-up game.

"We bowled really well, (Ashok) Dinda, myself and Yuvraj (Singh). Me and Yuvraj bowled 40 overs and got two and one wickets. Manoj Tiwary also bowled well," said Raina.

But despite the confident words from Raina, Alastair Cook led a strong reply with an unbeaten 122 as England XI made 286 for four in their first innings on the second day of the first practice match at the Brabourne Stadium.

Cook and Samit Patel (82 batting) added 153 runs for the unfinished fifth-wicket stand that helped England reduce the deficit to 83 runs in reply to India A´s 369 all out.

It was a strong batting performance by England despite a poor start.

Raina was all praise for Cook´s efforts.

"He (Cook) is looking solid. He will definitely score a lot of runs this season. He has been batting really well since last two, two-and-a-half years. I wish him luck. Hopefully, he will not do well against India," he said.

Asked about Kevin Pietersen´s dismissal by Yuvraj, Raina said: "He has a few successes against KP. He was very happy (with the dismissal). They both had a laugh later."

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