Carseldine scores century as Indian bowlers suffer again
Close Indians 17 for 3 trail Queensland Academy of Sports 304 for 6 dec (Carseldine 112, Philipson 85) by 287 runs
Lee Carseldine: a century to add to India's woes
© Getty Images
Fresh from a hiding against Victoria, the Indians suffered further embarrassment at the hands of a Queensland Academy team on the first day of their three-day match. The Academy side won the toss and put in a convincing batting display against a shabby Indian attack, declaring at 304 for 6, with Lee Carseldine, a 28-year-old left-hander, scoring a fluent 112.
However, worse was to follow for the Indians in the seven overs they were required to bat late in the day. Akash Chopra, Deep Dasgupta and Virender Sehwag all perished as the Indians ended on a miserable 17 for 3.
Mathew Inness had been the chief destroyer in the match against Victoria, and here it was Scott Brant, another left-arm seamer, who shook the Indians with wickets off successive balls. Chopra edged to Carseldine at slip for 0, while Dasgupta played no stroke and was declared lbw (7 for 2). It became worse when Sehwag tickled a catch down the leg side off Joe Dawes for 6 (11 for 3). VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly - who curiously came ahead of Rahul Dravid - saw India through to close of play without further damage.
Earlier, Carseldine and Craig Philipson (85) starred for the Academy. Anil Kumble (4 for 73) was the only bowler to make an impression, as the seamers all struggled for rhythm. Both Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan - included in the team in place of Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra - missed the opportunity to make a strong case for selection to the Test team. Agarkar was especially listless in his opening spell: his first ball was eased through covers for four, and that set the pattern for the day.
Pathan made a dream start, trapping Daniel Payne in front with his first ball, but the dream soon turned sour as Chris Simpson and Carseldine took toll of a generous serving of half-volleys. Agarkar did have one success, though, when Simpson drove uppishly and offered a return catch after making a crisp 43 (65 for 2).
The runs were coming at more than four an over when Kumble came in, staunched the runs, and took an early wicket too, when Aaron Nye was bowled round his legs for 15 (135 for 3). With L Balaji tightening up considerably after a woeful start, the Indians at least brought the scoring rate down. Carseldine got to his 50 off just 70 balls, but needed a further 98 to reach his hundred
However, Philipson and Carseldine frustrated the Indians with an 85-run stand, which finally ended when Carseldine edged to Dasgupta, the wicketkeeper, off Kumble (222 for 4). Kumble had two more wickets to celebrate, including that of Philipson, who was stumped as he advanced down the track and missed. Nye declared the innings soon after the fall of that wicket, giving the Indians a testing seven overs to bat out, which, as it turned out, was a test too severe for the Indian top order.