India A v Australians, Chennai, 3rd day February 18, 2013

Australians follow-on before salvaging draw

ESPNcricinfo staff

India A 451 (Tiwary 129, Gambhir 112) drew with Australians 235 (Watson 84, Dhurv 5-51, Saxena 4-61) and 195 for 3 (Watson 60, Cowan 53)

India A's spinners ran through the Australians' lower order to force the tourists to follow-on on the final day of warm-up game in Chennai which ended in a draw. Gujarat's left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurv grabbed five wickets and Madhya Pradesh offspinner Jalaj Saxena took four as the Australians folded for 235 in the first innings in the final practice match before the first Test starts later this week.

The visitors fared better in second innings, posting 195 for 3, and would have been buoyed by the form of Shane Watson and Ed Cowan, both of whom made solid contributions in both innings. Watson followed up his aggressive 84 on the second day with an equally quick 60 before he was run-out following a mix-up with Cowan. Watson's innings included four consecutive fours off Dhurv to raise his half-century. At the other end, Cowan also played a brisk knock, striking nine fours and a six in his 53.

There was also time for Usma Khawaja, Phillip Hughes and Matthew Wade to get some batting practice before the game ended. Wade had batted over 100 deliveries in the first innings, but the other two had been dismissed cheaply.

The day began with Wade and Henriques hitting five sixes between them in the first innings. Saxena and Dhurv then struck repeatedly as the Australians' final six wickets went down for 59, with Wade becoming the last man to be dismissed.

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  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    @girish2000: As you are, I am too diehard supporter of the current Indian team. It's being ages that I had seen run flowing from Mr. Gambhir's bat. For last two years his performance as a renowned International player became a questionable one. Seriously, once he was considered to be one of the best players against the spin, but that guy is now very much susceptible to that. He took his position as an opening batsman as granted like Sehwag. I know it's not about Mr. Gambhir alone, entire team members are facing drought of runs. But he never showed any sign of improvement in his batting. To be honest, I don't see that current Indian team have any chance against the Aussies. Bowling department is the weakest link of the current Indian team. None of the bowlers have the capability of taking wickets. Our current bowlers get wickets only by "luck by chance" not by excellent bowling. They took English team as granted and lost the series.

  • Al on February 20, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    Agree with @Naresh28 - INDIAN CRICKET SELECTION seems to be out of step - for example in a tour game a lot of youngsters have performed better than the current test team players. Merit, not seniority, should be the only criterion for selection. Spinners like Rasool, Nadeem, Dhurv, and Saxena are way better than our current test spinners - Harbhajan, Ashwin, Ojha and Jadeja. Currently Rasool is the best off spinner in India. He is better than Bhajji and Ashwin combined. Similarly in-form batsmen like Jaffer, Rayudu, and Tiwary are better than walking wickets like Sehwag, Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma.

  • Naresh on February 19, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    INDIAN CRICKET SELECTION seems to be out of step - for example in a tour game a lot of youngsters have put their hand up and performed better than the current test team players. This indicates that talent is there in abundance. As @nampally keeps saying we need to be in sync of the situation. We need to lay down the rules and select along those lines. As one fan stated we need test players who can bat long/hard for the test team.

  • girish on February 19, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    @datta abhijeet and vimal menon thats what we call negative as well as cheap thinking. If you be positive you can find immediate answer to that declaration. cricket is a team game and 1st priority of any match is to win. there were few experienced batsmen in the aussie line up. their technique to play spin was exposed. so gambhir and india A wanted to follow on and go for win thus making the moral of oz down before the eve of the first test at chepauk

  • Rayner on February 19, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Why enforece the follow on? would have been better to send them out in the field for a day. During the series against England the BCCI did everything they could to avoid England having any meaningful practice, but now they do everything they can to give the Aussies meaningful practice!

    I should think this will be a good preview of how the tests will go though, Aus might be passable in greener conditions, but in sub-continental conditions it's a different game.. they'll do well to win here.


  • dinesh on February 19, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Why 31 year old rakesh dhruv is given chance when any new spinner could have been given a go at this spin-sensitive aussie batting??And where is sidharth kaul who despite his good pace and consisitent performance has been ignored once again? Why 120 kps bowler like vinay kumar still among the plans of selectors?Havent they learn anything during last 2 year?? Abysmal selection and Future planning!!!!!!!!!!

  • dinesh on February 19, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    I agree that spin will be a challenge for aussies in this series,but to say that they will definately struggle will be too much respect shown towards struggling and clueless ashwin and sporadically impressive ojha.Dont forget same was said about english team.Australia's top order is filled with left handers whcih may benefit ashwin and encourage dhoni to go with ashwin and harbhajan both,Sehwag playing in middle order may be a good experiment. Overall It will be a big challenge for this indian team and even bigger for Michael clarke'team.

  • V.L on February 19, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Well this sets up the series nicely. Hopefully Ashwin has rectified his bowling action and will be back to his best. I am also expecting Jadeja to come good. So we will be fielding three spinners. India has no excuses this time around. Only two players in the current Aussie side have played more than 50 tests, so they are more or less as inexperienced as India. Come on lads! Lets make it 3 2-0's in a row! @Datta Abhijit Instead of supporting our team, you pass ridiculous comments on our team. How unfortunate! 100% guarantee of India losing? Well we will see about that.

  • Dummy4 on February 19, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    @Paddy789: Because if India looses the series (probability of 100%) at least Gambhir can say under my captaincy we gave follow on to the Australian team...:P