Hot stuff coming through the ranks: Sydney Sixers batsman Nic Maddinson.Australia A batsman Nic Maddinson, whose experience of the subcontinent has been restricted to the razzamatazz of the Indian Premier League, was looking forward to possibly his first taste of a longer format match there against the Indian A team coached by Rahul Dravid.
The star-studded Australia A team, containing Test players Joe Burns, James Pattinson, Matt Wade, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell and Stephen O’Keefe, left on Saturday for two four-day games in Chennai starting on July 22.
Once that is over Australia will play a triangular one-day series against India A and South Africa A.
Maddinson became the youngest NSW batsman to score a century on debut in 2010 when he hit 113 against South Australia. He has since forged a reputation as the wrecking ball of the Twenty20 Big Bash League.
However, he viewed the tour as a chance to prove his temperament was just as suited to the longer format – if he gets a game.
“It’s a tough tour in terms of getting a spot because there’s a lot of good batters,” he said. “I’m only there for two games [he is not in the one-day squad] and I’m hoping to get a chance in one of them if not both.
“I haven’t played any four-day cricket in India before so I’m excited about possibly getting that chance.”
The 24-year-old said he was happy to pick up where he left off for the NSW Sheffield Shield team after finding a way to marry his explosive hitting that resulted in some scintillating 80s in the BBL with the patience required to post big scores in the longer format.
“I only scored the one hundred, I was pretty close on two or three occasions last season of scoring another one and it could’ve been a completely different year, but I was still pretty happy with where I finished up,” Maddinson said of his 2014-15 first-class season.
“I think it’s the first season in the five years I’ve played where I’ve averaged in the 50s as well. I was quite happy with how I finished the year after the BBL because it felt as though I was getting some consistency in my game, something I haven’t had before.”
Dravid, appointed coach of the India A team last month by a BCCI high-profile advisory committee of retired greats Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, described the ‘A’ format as a “very good” platform. “It is an exciting phase for a cricketer,” he said.
While Maddinson did not know what to expect from the pitch at Chennai, Dravid said it would ensure a good contest between the two teams.
“It is ideal to have a wicket that provides even contest between the bat and ball,” he said. “At Chepauk, we generally get good wickets that produces even contest.”
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