Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Lessons Aplenty from Tough Indian Mission

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Lessons Aplenty from Tough Indian Mission

Article excerpt

Byline: JAY BUCHAN

IT might be the last time we see the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S Laxman play cricket in Australia, but don't be surprised if there is more like them on their way in future.

At least Ben O'Connell suspects as much, having just returned from Central District's cricket tour of India.

C[pounds sterling]FantasticC[yen] was how O'Connell described the experience, from which he and his teammates returned last Friday.

O'Connell rated as a highlight getting to play on Dharamasala Stadium, the sometime home of the Kings XI Punjab Indian Premier League team.

C[pounds sterling]It has about a 30,000 capacity but we were blown away by the facilities,C[yen] O'Connell said.

C[pounds sterling]It had an indoor gym, nets with turf wickets.C[yen]

When not in use as a cricket venue, the stands double as a hotel, with the corporate boxes the rooms.

There were closer to 30 than 30,000 there as Centrals struggled in five matches against the Himachal Province team.

C[pounds sterling]They were very good opposition,C[yen] O'Connell said.

C[pounds sterling]We got pretty close in the first game, then pretty much got a work over. It was a big step for a club side.C[yen]

A big step maybe but also a huge opportunity to learn.

C[pounds sterling]I think on a lot of the pitches against spin bowling, it is definitely something we need to work on,C[yen] O'Connell said.

C[pounds sterling]In our first two or three games, we were a bit unsure how to approach our batting innings and bowling.

C[pounds sterling]Watching them in their conditions, we got more accustomed to what we needed to do.C[yen]

None more so than O'Connell who scored 137 in the second one-day match against Himachal after C[pounds sterling]watching their batsmen a lotC[yen].

In that match, O'Connell came in with his team 3-0 in the first over.

C[pounds sterling]I approached the innings like some of their batters,C[yen] he said. …

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