Australians 241 (Rasool 7-45) v
Indian Board President’s XI
Tour Match, Chennai, day one
The Australians were all out for 241 on the opening day of their first warm-up match ahead of next week’s first Test against India. Ed Cowan top-scored with 58 at the top of the order, but it was Jammu & Kashmir off-spinner Parvez Rassol who emerged as the star of the day, taking seven for 45 on the eve of his 24th birthday.
With only 11 of their 17-player squad having arrived in India following the ODI series against the West Indies, Matthew Wade was forced to skipper the Australians and moved up to number three in their batting line-up. He made 35 following an opening stand worth 77 between Usman Khawaja and Cowan.
There was also a contribution of 41 from number four Steve Smith as the tourists found themselves handily placed at 167 for two at one point. It was then that their weak tail was exposed. Peter Siddle came in at number seven and made a fighting 22, but wickets fell regularly during the latter half of the day as Rassol ran riot. He completed his five-wicket haul by having Siddle caught by Mandeep Singh and wrapped up the innings by having Ashton Agar stumped. Agar, a 19 year-old slow left-arm spinner from Western Australia, has played only four first-team games - all of them in 2013 - but impressed and is accompanying the Australian squad in order to gain experience of subcontinental conditions.
Following the day’s play, Cowan professed himself satisfied with the way things had gone: "It was a pretty good day. Everyone had a good hit at the top of the order. The wicket was turning, so it was good practice against some really talented spin bowlers. The wicket was a bit two-paced. The ball reversed pretty quickly so it was hard to score but it is a small ground, so a decent score for a first hit out.
"It's easy to call it a practice game, but it is more than that for a lot of us - to come over early, to get the conditions, to get our plans in place against the spinners. It was nice to spend some time in the middle but at the end of the day it's about scoring some runs, so it was nice to get a few runs as well."
© Cricket World 2013
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