"On India A tours, you're playing pretty close to international level" - Priyank Panchal on importance of India A matches

Priyank Panchal in action for India A against New Zealand A last year
Priyank Panchal in action for India A against New Zealand A last year

Opener Priyank Panchal has been one of the beneficiaries of the India A program as he has been able to showcase his talent on a bigger stage.

The India A tours have become a rarity in the post-COVID world, but Panchal believes the amount of learning from these tours has been massive. He spoke about how the opposition field their A teams with quality players who can get into the senior team easily and how that increases the level of competition.

Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, Priyank Panchal explained just how much India A tours have helped him develop his skills. He said:

"The advantage of playing for India A was top quality opposition. If you look at whichever international team, the fringe players from that team play in their A side. Some of them don't play in the main team because it's tough for them to get into the XI so they play in the A sides. So on such A tours, the importance is that you're playing pretty close to international level and you get familiar to the preparations that you need to get to that level."

Priyank Panchal on his favorite knocks for India A

One of the main reasons why Priyank Panchal has been on the periphery and also once in the Indian Test squad is because he has been scoring hundreds not just in domestic cricket but also for India A.

The veteran opener recalled some of his favorite knocks at that level which boosted his confidence. One of those was against the England Lions where Panchal scored a double hundred. He stated:

"Immediately after the 2018/19 Ranji season, we had two matches against England Lions. I scored a double hundred in that. I had struggled a lot in the previous tour there and I knew I had to prepare a lot. I put in the hard yards and scored 200-odd (206)."

Panchal's favorite India A memory remains his scores of 58 & 68 against West Indies A in Port of Spain in 2019. India were in deep trouble and it was Panchal's sensational performances that helped them get over the line. On this, he added:

"In West Indies, I scored a 50-odd and 60-odd in two innings in Port of Spain. It was a good experience because I scored runs when we were struggling and when my team needed the most on a difficult track. That will be an innings that I will remember the most."

Priyank Panchal continues to push for a spot in the Indian Test squad with prolific performances in domestic cricket. He has been named as the captain of West Zone in Duleep Trophy 2023.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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