Maharashtra batsman Ankeet Bawane is keen to make a mark on the upcoming India ‘A’ tour of England. India ‘A’ will play two unofficial Tests against West Indies ‘A’ in England from July 4 to July 13 before featuring in a four-day game against England Lions from July 16.
In his recent interview with PTI, Bawane disclosed that he has left no stone unturned in his preparations for the tour and has been practicing on pitches favouring bowlers at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore.
"Yes, absolutely (I am geared up) and the preparations have been done. Our camp and fitness tests were going on in Bengaluru. We are practising on bowling-friendly pitches in Bengaluru," Bawane quoted.
"Last week, my entire focus was on middling the ball and playing (against) swing bowling to the maximum (extent) with the help of the bowling machine," he added.
In order to conquer the English conditions, Ankeet Bawane is also taking tips from experienced former Test players like Kiran More and W V Raman.
"My other area of focus is how to build my innings and how to leave the balls. I have been taking outputs from W V Raman, Amol Mazumdar and Kiran More, on the nature of pitches in England," he asserted.
Bawane is not new to the India ‘A’ squad as he has the experience of 78 first-class matches. The 25-year-old has also played against South Africa ‘A’ and New Zealand ‘A’ in the past.
"I feel that this is good opportunity and taking it positively rather than being pressurised. I have nothing to lose and I have to just go out there and enjoy my batting,” Bawane remarked.
"I am thinking that I will try and express myself. If it is my day, may be I will get a century. This is good opportunity and it will be nice experience to bat in England and face some quality bowlers," he explained.
When asked how he would approach these four-day games in England, Bawane said he will play with the same attitude as he plays in the Ranji trophy.
"I will play that game in the same way I play in the Ranji trophy, where I want to perform, without taking pressure of selection (for the national team)," he concluded.
As far as Ankeet Bawane’s credentials in first-class cricket is concerned – the right-hander has scored 5367 runs at an impressive average of 52.10 with 17 tons and 28 fifties.
India ‘A’ squad for four-day games in England:
Karun Nair(c), Ravikumar Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Ankeet Bawane, Vijay Shankar, Srikar Bharat, Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ankit Rajpoot, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Rajneesh Gurbani