Cricket

Ind A vs Aus Warm-up game: Draw in the end, Iyer standout performer

In the end, it turned out that the Aussies are quite comfortable on an Indian pitch as of now. There was a lot of talk and speculation about the men from Down Under not doing well on Indian pitches. Skipper Steve Smith (107) and Shaun Marsh (104)  started the tour to the subcontinent on a high, with both striking defiant tons to take the visitors to 327/3 at stumps on the opening day of the three-day practice game against India A at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.  

Put in to bat, Australia lost the opening duo of Matt Renshaw (11) and David Warner (25) early but Smith (107 retired) and Marsh (104 retired) put on 156 runs for the third wicket to deny the home boys any more inroads into the game.

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India A skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to bowl. Navdeep Saini picked up two wickets — sending back Aussie openers David Warner and Matt Renshaw — while Pandya scalped one for India A.

Australia declared their innings on 469 for 7 on Day Two. Mitchell Marsh and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade registered fifties.

Australia started off well with the ball as off-spinner Nathan Lyon removed India A’s opening batsmen Akhil Herwadkar and Priyank Panchal for 4 and 36 respectively. India still had Ishan Kishan and Krishnappa Gowtham to follow, but did not have much batting after that. The partnership between Shreyas and Pant was very crucial.

India A resumed Day 3 of the match at 176 for 4, still trailing Australia by 293 runs. Shreyas Iyer was unbeaten at the crease with a 93-ball 85 and he had Rishabh Pant for company, who was batting on 3. They looked to take India A’s total as close as possible to the Australian first innings score before Pant got out. It was a good chance for the Australian bowlers to get the maximum out of the final day of the tour match,

Shreyas scored an excellent century against the touring Bangladesh team in his previous outing and looked set to get yet another one against a much better attack. He stood his ground while  wickets kept falling on the other hand on Day 3. He played a marvellous innings of 202 off just 210 balls. 

India A were all out for 403 runs with Shreyas Iyer's double century being the highlight of the innings. K Gowtham’s superb 74 run innings also helped the hosts extensively. With that, Australia took a 66 run lead.

Australia came out to bat in their second innings, With Renshaw out for 10, David Warner was in T20 mode before he also fell for 35 runs courtesy a catch to gully. Australia ended the second innings on 110/4 when both captains decided to go for a draw.

Shreyas Iyer's innings was the highlight of the warm up game. The visitors looked comfortable on the subcontinent pitch on offer as they will look to continue to perform well in the upcoming first Test Match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to be held in Pune 23rd February onwards.                                                                                           

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