Coach Darren Lehman will be pretty pleased with his side’s batting performance on the first day of the tour match against Indian A, after Australia scored 327 – 5 at the end of the day’s play. The three day match is the only warm up match that the Australian’s play before they get ready to face India in the first test match which starts on Feb 23.
Indian A led by all-rounder Hardik Pandya won the toss and put the Aussies in to bat. David Warner who is arguably Australia’s best batsman got them off to a brisk start scoring 25 out of just 30 balls. His partner, young Matthew Renshaw who is in many ways in like Matthew Hayden struggled at the other end scoring just 11 runs out of 41 balls. That brought the experienced due of Shaun Marsh and captain Steven Smith to the crease and they put together a massive partnership to put Australia in command.
Smith scored a century and decided to retire out on 107 and Shaun Marsh soon followed in his footsteps scoring 104 and retiring himself out. Both batsman scored freely and finished with a strike rate in the 60s. Peter Handscomb also had a good knock out in the middle scoring 45 out of 70 balls. The performance on the first day will be a confidence booster to the Australians who have generally struggled in sub-continent conditions.
No one in the India A side really impressed with their performance apart from N Saini who picked up two wickets in his spell of 12 overs. The Australians never really found it difficult to play the India A spinners but come the first test, they will be up against the spin twins in R Ashwin and R Jadeja.
The batting performance will help Australia determine its batting line-up for the first test with Shaun Marsh highly likes to be selected. The Aussies will most likely want to bat through the first two sessions on the second day to give the likes of Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell some time in the middle before giving their bowlers a crack at the India A side.
Australia are playing Nathan Lyon and Stephen O’Keefe in this match and will most likely stick to the same combination for the first test. That being said Lyon will be under pressure to take a few wickets being the senior most spinner in the side as Australia might want to try their young leg spinner Mitchell Swepson sometime during the four match test series.