Western Australia XI v Indians, Tour match, Perth January 9, 2016

Rohit and Manish fifties buoy Indians

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Indians 249 (Rohit 67, Pandey 58, Porter 5-37) beat Western Australia XI 185 (Morgan 50, Carder 45, R Dhawan 2-28, Ashwin 2-32) by 64 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rohit Sharma top-scored for the Indians with 67 © AFP

The Indians needed a pair of half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey to patch up an underwhelming batting performance, but their bowlers had little trouble defending 249 against Western Australia XI in the warm-up one-dayer at the WACA.

This was India's final practice match before facing Australia in the first ODI on Tuesday and everyone in their squad was given a go, except fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who was benched as a precaution owing to a cut on his finger. "He's perfectly alright," insisted bowling coach B Arun. "Just before the game, he was bowling on the ground, he's been bowling 25-30 balls on the ground. It's an opportunity for us to try other boys and with Shami being injured it becomes even more important for us to check who we are going to play in the next game"

So Barinder Sran (7-1-22-0) and Rishi Dhawan (7-1-28-2) were given the new ball and there were good signs - only three fours were hit off their bowling in the first 10 overs. "He's a bowler with a lot of potential," Arun said of Sran. "He's been pretty impressive in these two games that he's played. Being a left-armer too, gives us an added advantage and we have a bowler we can groom in the future for us." The ones India will likely bank on in the present - R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - were able to further the squeeze in the middle overs. Western Australia XI was bowled out for 185 in 49.2 overs, which meant that they faced one ball more than the Indians did.

Having opted to bat, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli were dismissed inside six overs. Both men had shown excellent form in the warm-up T20 on Friday, but that did offer the rest of the line-up some match practice. Rohit, who had run himself out in the last game, played steadily to reach his half-century off 64 balls, with five fours and two sixes. He would strike one of each kind of boundary before he was caught spectacularly by D'Arcy Short at slip.

For most of his innings, Rohit had the company of Ajinkya Rahane and their 88-run stand for the third wicket came at a healthy 5.33 per over. Rahane managed three fours in his 53-ball 41 before chopping legspinner James Muirhead onto his stumps.

Then the Indians decided to test some of their lower-middle order options. A flatfooted Gurkeerat Singh received a lovely outswinger and nicked off for 6 off 13 balls. Drew Porter was the wicket-taker and he finished with 5 for 37 from 9.1 overs. The 30-year old fast bowler was the main reason for the Indians finding themselves at 171 for 6 with MS Dhoni back in the pavilion for 15 off 35 balls.

But Manish Pandey was able to progress fluently at No. 6. He struck only three fours, but was able to maintain a strike rate near 100. His 58 off 59 was vital to India crossing 200. Jadeja chipped in with 26 off 25 balls, but his greater contribution was working in tandem with Ashwin in the second innings. The two spinners got through their 20 overs for only 70 runs and picked up four wickets. Axar Patel provided a couple of breakthroughs as well and maintained an economy rate of 3.62.

"The idea of playing practice games, and the fact that we are playing on the same ground [as the first ODI] also gives us the advantage," Arun said. "Though we have played a lot of cricket in Australia recently, but then again coming back after playing a lot of cricket in the subcontinent, we are getting used to the ground on which we are playing."

There were only two Western Australia XI batsmen who managed a strike-rate of 80. Opener Jake Carder (45) and No. 7 Jaron Morgan (50) were the only sources of concerted resistance.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • edwiniyer on January 11, 2016, 13:12 GMT

    Its good to see Rohit on track... because he has the ability to destruct all the game plans of the Aussies...

  • Corridor-of-Certainty on January 10, 2016, 20:10 GMT

    The next three months will decide the fate of Dhoni. He has been dodging media questions about when he'll retire. I don't think he's got a plan about his future with the team or the team's future with him. He should continue playing only if he is confident he'll be able to go on to play the 2019 WC. There's no point in continuing until 2017 or 2018 and then suddenly making the retirement call. India can not afford to find a replacement for him within one year (for the keeper position as well as the finisher's role). He is fit, but his form is the major concern. One thing is for sure - there can never be another player like him in ODIs.

  • Cricinfouser on January 10, 2016, 14:51 GMT

    come on dhoni do some magic.. its really a frustating thing seeing u struggling even against mediocre bowlers.. But so far I feel its gonna be a tuff series for australia .result gonna 5-0 in india's favour .. mark my words...

  • KUMARPALV9 on January 10, 2016, 12:46 GMT

    Why do all host teams make the visitors play against second and third string sides?

  • rmallick on January 10, 2016, 11:51 GMT

    Guys, Australia will whitewash the series, no doubt about it. Mark my word. No further discussion about if and buts.

  • SnGomes on January 10, 2016, 11:26 GMT

    @SAMROY not sure what you meant by talking up the chances. Aus team may be favorite, but it looks beatable.India has every chance of winning some games if not series. But one thing for sure India under Dhoni is usually silent before most series they play. WACA did give India an opportunity to get used to the conditions which will get slower as the tour progresses due to the itinerary.

  • Corridor-of-Certainty on January 10, 2016, 10:46 GMT

    Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli, Pandey, Dhoni, Gurkeerat, Jadeja, Ashwin, Ishant, Yadav, Sran

  • Vishu_the_cricklover on January 10, 2016, 6:29 GMT

    Can we please see the replay of last test series in Oz. Where dhoni hung up his captaincy shoes. It's time for ODI and t20. He has past his best way back. Still continuing with Indian captaincy. At least he should try and play as a batsmen and test himself.

  • SamRoy on January 10, 2016, 4:47 GMT

    One of the problems with Indian Management is that they never play down their chances. Now you hear Bharat Arun saying that "playing 2 practice matches at WACA gives us the advantage". What kind of advantage? Advantage of not losing as poorly as they would now. At least Bharat Arun could have said "It is good that our guys got a chance to practice at WACA but it is the WACA and the first match and vs Australia next and so Australia massive favorites to win that one". That way you reduce a little bit of pressure from Indian Team. With reduced expectations they could free themslves and play a little freely and compete better.

  • crkt4evr on January 10, 2016, 4:31 GMT

    pandey managing to maintain 100 strike rate with only 3 boundaries is very good..

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