The four day warm-up game between India and Cricket Australia XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground ended in a draw after the first day was washed out due to rain. There were some positives and a number of concerns that popped up from the four day match that the Indian think-tank will have to address quickly as the first test match starts on December 6 at the Adelaide Oval.
Batting Side Composition Critical
Young P Shaw who was going to open for India is out of the first test and quite possibly the second test as well after he suffered an ankle injury. India will most bring back M Vijay who scored a great century in the second innings at a strike rate of 97. KL Rahul failed in the first innings but scored 67 in the second innings but his form is still a concern.
What Shastri and Kohli will have to decide is whether they play 5 batsmen and G Vihari as the all-rounder who can bowl some off-spin or play 6 batsmen bringing in R Sharma for G Vihari. This is going to be a critical decision and given that the first test is at the Adelaide Oval it might be a good ideas as R Sharma can also send down a few overs of off-spin.
The absence of H Pandya means that this composition will put pressure on the Indian bowlers as there will be room for only one spinner and three pacers.
India Struggle With Dismissing The Tail
Cricket Australia XI reached a total of 544 as the tail did a lot of damage towards the end as Australia went from 234 for 6 to 544. The Indian bowlers struggled to find the right line and length at the SCG as both M Shami and U Yadav went for more than 4 runs an over. R Ashwin who has a poor record in Australia also struggled and sent down 40 overs, picking up just 2 wickets.
However one must point out that B Kumar and J Bumrah who are expected to play the first test did not play the warm-up game. However, Bumrah did come on during the end of the 4th day and sent down 7 delivers and took the final wicket.
Australia have a strong tail with M Starc, P Cummins, J Hazelwood and N Lyon. India will have to find a way to dismiss the tail cheaply or be prepared to spend long hours in the field.