Australia feels the first impact of the rival spinners – Tour match

India A 451 (Manoj Tiwary 129, Gautam Gambhir 112, Rohit Sharma 77, Ashton Agar 3-107) drew with Australians 235 (Shane Watson 84, Matthew Wade 44, Rakesh Dhurv 5-51, Jalaj Saxena 4-61) and 3-195 (Watson 60, Ed Cowan, Jalaj Saxena 1-37)

The India A spin duo of Rakesh Dhurv and Jalaj Saxena mesmerised the Australian batsmen and sent a warning to the visitors for the forthcoming Tests series.

The home spinners clinched all 11 Australians wickets which fell during the match as the visitors were forced for a follow on.

India A hammered 451 runs in the first innings as Manoj Tiwary and the skipper, Gautam Gambhir plundered centuries. The Australians managed 235 runs in their first innings, they were forced to follow on and scored 195 for the loss of three wickets in the second.

The three days tour match concluded on Monday, February 18, 2013, at India Cement Limited Guru Nanek College Ground, Chennai.

Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss for the home side and opened the innings with Jiwanjot Singh. They faced the Australians pace attack with authority and negotiated the rival bowling according to merit. The first wicket fell at 67 when Jiwanjot Singh became the first victim for 24 and he was replaced by Rohit Sharma. The play was dominated by the batsmen who were sending the ball out of the fence at regular intervals and Gautam Gambhir smashed his 33rd First-class century. The score was taken to 195 as Gautam Gambhir lost his wicket for 112 off 162 balls with 3 smart sixes and 13 fours.

Manoj Tiwary joined in next with Sharma and started the proceeding from where it was left by Gambhir. Sharma was the most aggressive of the two and dispatched quite a few boundaries before he was caught behind by the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade off Xavier Doherty for 77 off 144 deliveries with 3 huge sixes and 8 fours. Manoj Tiway powered his 15th First-class hundred and became the sixth batsman who returned to the pavilion after thrashing 129 from 187 with 3 lofty sixes and 18 fours. Muralidharen Gautam scored 38 runs as India A piled up 451 runs from 128.4 overs.

Ashton Agar and Xavier Doherty were the main wicket takers with three wickets each, Nathan Lyon took two whereas Peter Siddle and Moises Henriques shared one wicket each.

The Australians captain, Shane Watson and Ed Cowan initiated the innings for the Australians in a positive manner and they were fluent against the fast bowlers of the home side. The pair was reading the ball extremely well and it looked like the tourists would post a bigger total than India A. The brisk opening association gathered 116 runs in just 22.4 overs as the left arm spinner, Rakesh Dhurv got the first breakthrough. Ed Cowan was declared leg before wicket for 40 off 65 balls with 6 fours.The right arm off spinner,  Jalaj Saxena along with Dhurv broke the back of the middle order batting by claiming wicket one after another.

Shane Watson was caught behind by Muralidharen off Dhurv for 84 from 87 comprising 1 six and 13 fours. Matthew Wade and Moises Henriques tried to stabilise the innings and enhanced the score to 176 as the latter was held lbw off Rakesh Dhurv for 33 runs. Wade did his best whereas the wickets kept on sliding from the other end and he was the last batsman who was dismissed for 44 and the entire Australians side was bowled out for 235 in 62.3 overs.

Rakesh Dhurv - Pick of the India A spinners
Rakesh Dhurv – Pick of the India A spinners

Rakesh Dhurv was the start performer with five wickets and Jalaj Saxena grabbed four wickets.

The Australians conceded a lead of 216 runs as Gautam Gambhir forced the follow on to get a possible result of the match. Shane Watson and Ed Cowan once again came out to bat with an attacking approach while getting the frequent boundaries. They never went under pressure and tried to get a maximum batting practice while taking their team out of trouble. The openers posted 104 runs on board while utilising 21.3 overs when Shane Watson was unluckily run out for 60 off just 63 with 1 six and 9 fours.

Cowan became the next victim after the addition of 14 runs to the total at his personal contribution of 53 off 81 balls with 1 six and 9 fours. Usman Khawaja and Matthew Wade remained unbeaten for 30 and 19 runs respectively as the Australians scored 195 runs in 55 overs with seven wickets in hand.

Rakesh Dhurv and Jalaj Saxena once again were the only wicket takers with one wicket each among five others.

The tour match between India A and the Australians ended in a draw but in fact it left quite a few question marks about the Visitors’ batting against the quality spin bowling of India in the four Test series. The first match will commence from February 22, 2013, at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai.


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