India A 338-4 (Gambhir 112, Tiwary 77no) v
Tour Match, Chennai, day one
Australia’s trio of spinners got a bit of a mauling at the hands of India’s second-string batting line-up on the opening day of their final warm-up match ahead of the first Test in Chennai. Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty and 19 year-old Ashton Agar each conceded at least four runs per over as Gautam Gambhir responded to his axing from India’s Test squad by hitting 112.
The Australian pace bowlers were all much more economical, conceding runs at around two per over, but were unable to provide the early breakthroughs that were required. Gambhir shared an opening stand worth 67 with Jiwanjot Singh which spanned much of the slow-paced first session. Jiwanjot was eventually caught off the bowling of Xavier Doherty for 24.
After lunch, the Indians picked up the pace of scoring against Australia’s spin attack. Rohit Sharma joined Gambhir and the two were together for more than 30 overs; in the process adding 128. Gambhir was finally extracted by Moises Henriques - the second of two catches for Shane Watson - having sent a clear message to India’s selectors.
Sharma and Manoj Tiwary then took India A to tea and beyond. Both passed 50, with Sharma being caught behind by Matthew Wade to give Doherty his second wicket. Doherty was easily the pick of Australia’s three spinners; outbowling Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon (20-1-97-0) and the young Agar (13-1-78-0) on his way to figures of three for 69 from 16 overs.
India A finally reached stumps on 338 for four, with Tiwary unbeaten on 77, having added an unbroken 34 with Karnataka wicket-keeper Muralidharen Gautam (34 not out).
Australia had earlier chosen not to pick captain Michael Clarke and opener David Warner; meaning that two of Australia’s most senior batsmen will go into the first Test with no meaningful red-ball cricket under their belts. Both are completing their recoveries from injury and should be fit for Chennai.
© Cricket World 2013
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