Indian 8 to 237 (Rahane 108 *, Pujara 54) vs. Australia A
Ajinkya Rahane, who will take over as captain from Virat Kohli in a few weeks, made the ideal start to his tour with hundreds of superbly built on opening day against the demanding Australian A attack that was for him James Pattinson, in his first red ball match in nearly a year, put on a form that shows he is ready for the Test team if needed.
Overall, it was a mixed excursion with the bat for the Indians, Rahane and the beautiful century Cheteshwar Pujarafifty obdurates balanced against three ducks in the top six. Pattinson, who was actually an incumbent after facing New Zealand at SCG in January when Josh Hazlewood was injured, finished with 3 for 58 including Pujara’s scalp for 140 balls 54.
The Indians, who were the first multi-day match for them all since March, recovered from 3 for 40 and 6 for 128 through Rahane’s effort, which resulted in one hundred out of 203 deliveries, aided by contrasting lower order contributions from Kuldeep Yadav and Umesh Yadav, the latter kind of spoils Pattinson’s figure.
Another standout feature of Australia A’s bowling display is the eight overs delivered by Cameron Green in two spells. Producing good speed and continuing on a pitch that offered uplifting bounce, he caused trouble for the Indian batsmen.
Rahane won the draw and hit in the first of two warm-up matches, the second under the lights at SCG starting Friday, when a handful of spectators gathered on the edge of the grass off the pitch. However, the opening didn’t last long. Shubman Gill dropped the first ball he faced, on to Michael Neser, gaining the inside edge to his bearings which curved into a slip. Next, Prithvi Shaw saved a quick blow from Pattinson.
Pujara and Hanuma Vihari negotiated the remainder of the opening spell, but Australia A’s phalanx pacemen – none of the specialist spinners including XI with Mitchell Swepson moving into the T20I squad – maintained the pressure, especially Green whose first four overs cost just four runs while hitting a challenging length outside. . Paine’s team regularly receives increased deliveries, although it remains to be seen when this happens at Test cricket.
Jackson Bird broke through when he pinned the Vihari lbw though there may have been doubts over the decision and at lunch the Indians sat in an uncomfortable 3 for 65 position.
Much of the afternoon’s session saw Pujara and Rahane balance the half with 76 in 28 over. Ining Pujara is an early reminder of how he was the rock behind India’s series win here two years ago where he made 521 and held off the Australian attack.
Playing his first competitive cricket since March, he immediately returned to his bubble (the batting variety, not the biosecure variety) and at one stage made 27 deliveries between scoring strokes, a sequence that ended with a deep edge to the foot. side.
His half century arrives from 129 balls, via a bolster brace, before the sacking of what may be a big part of Australia’s plans for the Test series when he turns off a post from his bearings and is caught well, low under, in the foot gutter by Marcus Harris. That’s a lot like the way Australia knocked him out in the second half of the MCG Test in 2018, when he flicked Pat Cummins around the corner to get the duck – albeit with India far ahead in the game and sandwiched between the scores of 106 and 193.
The Indian then slipped again as Wriddhiman Saha, who sustained a hamstring injury in the final stages of the IPL, was awarded lbw in the captain’s Head’s first over despite what seemed a difficult decision. R Ashwin was then pinned by a full and swift delivery from Pattinson as the Indians lost 3 for 12 before tea.
Although he was beaten on several occasions, Rahane’s game looked very good with some of his drives very pleasing to the eye. His most expansive moment was when he reached the age of fifty with an upper cut for six from Pattinson during the early stages of standing with Kuldeep frustrating Australia A’s attempts to mop his tail quickly.
Rahane cashed in a long ball, relative to the general pace of scoring all day long on a surface that rarely allowed the batsmen to break away. When a new ball is drawn, he moves to 98 by sliding through the slip before the brace to the cover carries a hundred. For a man who will have an important role in the series, it is the ideal look to organize a tour.