India A v Australians, Chennai, 3rd day

Australians follow-on before salvaging draw

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 18, 2013

Comments: 85 | Text size: A | A

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)

Rakesh Dhurv took 5 for 51 for India A, India A v Australians, Tour game, 3rd day, Chennai, February 18, 2013
Rakesh Dhurv, with fellow spinner Jalaj Saxena, took nine of the Australians' wickets in their first innings © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   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.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 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.

Posted by Naresh28 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.

Posted by girish2000 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

Posted by Selassie-I 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.


Posted by dinesh.lovecricket 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!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by dinesh.lovecricket 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.

Posted by maddy20 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by Paddy789 on (February 19, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

Not sure why Gambhir gave the follow-on, their batsmen got more bating practise...especially likes of Watson, Cowan and Khwaja.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

The funny part that no one seems to observe is, why did Gambhir enforce a follow-on, when he and the others could have had a chance to prove themselves instead of giving the Australians more batting practice! Gambhir's fear of failure is reaching dizzying heights! He didn't want his good deed of a century in the first innings to be overshadowed by a poor showing in the second innings. Let's face it, the batsmen in this India A team had a more realistic chance of making into the India XI as compared to any of the bowlers.

Posted by hycIass on (February 19, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

@BigMaxyWalker fantastic vision mate, I can see Hughes, Khawaja being stars for us in the coming year and then Doolan and Burns and Zampa stepping it up next season for us. @Simoc you are correct about Hughes having issues agianst spin, he is a good young batsman but struggled against Narine in the ODIs and also in the warm up game so he has his work cut out in this series. Khawaja got a 30 not out yesterday and 39 in the first game so he has been handling spin alot better and will be a key middle order batsman for us, but its important he gets a fair crack and not just a single game as always happens with him. @Ozcricketwriter i was amazed Maxwell wasn't played in the warm up game given he is still under consideration for a spot, we played Agar ahead of him which makes no sense, i would't pick Maxwell but i would rather get the hype associated with him over with in this series.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (February 19, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

Shaggy076 some very good analysis bud. Yes i agree given that Warner hasn't picked up a bat for 3 weeks your lineup mostly makes alot of sense and gives Cowan and Watson the chance to hit off. Khawaja got 30 not out yesterday and its time we stop asking a star performance from him every time he comes in as injury cover, give the bloke a full series to show what he can do, as pointed out Cowan has had 13 tests in a row to show his class, surely we can give Khawaja 4 tests in a row and stop talking him down when he fills in for 1-2 games eery single time. I would like you also leave Maxwell out but not sure if i would pick Smith over Henriques but that's just a difference in opinion.

Posted by JustIPL on (February 19, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

My aussie team for the first test: Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Warner, Clarke, Doherty, Wade, JOhnson, Siddle/Bird, Lyon, Smith

Smith, Lyon, Doherty area viable spin options keeping in view the indian batsmen including Pujara struggled during the england series.

Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Warner, Clarke, Wade, Smith provide strong batting lineup with plenty of options.

Johnson, Siddle/Bird are good fast bwoling options. Bird did not allow any width during warmups and can take care of Sehwag/Tendulkar. I dont think Siddle can leave that impression as English fast bowlers who are more capable then aussies left.

Drying up runs with fast bowliing and then getting wickets using spin will be the formula to win in India as the norm set by England.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (February 19, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

@dunger.bob on (February 19, 2013, 2:46 GMT): You may be right, but i made that comment based on knowing the Indian conditions which offers best batting conditions on day-3.Allowing Aussie batters to have another shot of taking on Indian spinners wasn't the wise thing looking at the larger perspective. Yes, if India-A have managed to run-through the Aussies again, it would have caused an irreparable damage.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (February 19, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

These games are essentially about batting/bowling practice and fighting for positions for the fringe players. So we should have seen Khawaja, Smith, Henriques and Maxwell all in there fighting for the last 2 batting spots, Pattinson, Bird, Siddle, Doherty and Lyon all fighting for the last 2 bowling spots (behind Johnson and Starc who surely are already set). Those 9 players should have been certainties for the practice match, leaving only Wade as the incumbent keeper and one other player - probably Watson to give him some time in the middle. Why on earth they chose to play Agar, at the expense of these others is beyond me. Apparently Maxwell gets in the team instead of Henriques without getting a single game, while Smith and Bird both miss out in spite of not getting a single chance to show what they have got.

Posted by Simoc on (February 19, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

Going by the last series in India, spinners will decide the series. So we'll need Doherty and Lyon from the start. The worry for Oz are Hughes and Khawaja. Can they play spin. They have given every indication that they can't so far but test batsmen need to work it out quickly. By the end of the series we willl know. Given India capitulated easily to the Poms they are likely to prepare high scoring pitches to make sure that doesn't happen again. Lets hope Oz use Watson up front and they bat positively like he always does. I'de like to see Bird and Johnson used as the Oz quicks and Maxwell or Henriques at 7 depending on the pitch for the first test.

Posted by palla.avinash on (February 19, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

For all those who don't recognize including BCCI. Rakesh Dhurv,jalaj saxena and parvez rasool are good enough spinners to replace harbijan singh and even good enough to keep ashwin and ojha on there feet.rasool and dhurv should be in 16 members team removing harbijan to create pressure to pick wickets for country or they will get replaced by these guys.ashwin it is time to leave ipl and take rest we know ur playing too much cricket time to dump ipl not indian team,create some fake injury and play for india.

Posted by Nerk on (February 19, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

Cowan and Watson have both made runs in these preliminary matches, which is good, considering Clarke will be back to bolster the middle order in the test matches. Looking at the spinners, things are a little worrying. India will look to bash Lyon and Doherty out of the game. Lyon has had an average summer with the ball and the last time Doherty played at test level he was annihilated by a KP masterclass (the same KP that had trouble playing SLA bowlers). They will both need to bowl out of their skins if Australia are to get anything from this series.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (February 19, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

Looks like this will be the team for the first Test- Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Kahwaja, Clarke, Wade, Henriques, Siddle, Pattenson, Lyon, Bird. Doherty may take Lyons place still but I think Henrique has forced selection over Maxwell/Smith and having two spinners have leaked too many runs. I don't think Cowan has done enough to keep Watson away but he is lucky that Warner will probably miss the first test and may the best man win. I think our batting will either click in the middle order or will fail, hence its key to have Khawaja in the middle. And guys is Agar going back home, some folks are saying he is still in contention and others are saying that he is going home. Does anyone know

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 19, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

Sometimes larger interest of Ind cricket is better than short-term gains.For the sake of Indian cricket and its 'test' future forgetting the meaningless T20s,I hope that Oz thrash us this series if that's what it takes for Dhoni's disappearance from test scene.He can carry on captaining ODI/T20/IPL or any other team that Srini owns..

But for SA series,we need a change in leadership,approach and over all priorities of the team and MSD is the most unsuitable leader in this format.So by a miracle if Ind wins this series,Dhoni will be on that flight to SA to lead us to another thrashing abroad. So with a lump in my throat I say go Aussies!!

Posted by wizman on (February 19, 2013, 3:19 GMT)

Yawn. Nothing to see here.

Gosh - 8 of the 10 India A wickets to fall, fell to spin. Therefore, India A batsmen must have a problem with spin.

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 19, 2013, 2:46 GMT)

@ SherjilIslam on (February 18, 2013, 12:48 GMT) : "I just couldn't digest the stupidity of Indian think-tank of allowing Australians to bat again." .. the way it turned out it looks to be the wrong move. To be fair though, if your guys could have run through us AGAIN, the mental damage that would have done would have been worth it. Actually, if I had been in charge of India A at the time, I would have done the same thing. My aim would have been to bowl them out and win the game. Failing that, knocking off most of the batting and getting down amongst the bowlers would have been acceptable. .. just different ways of looking at the same thing I suppose. ..

Posted by WonkyBail on (February 19, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

Some concerns with spin for Aussies but predictions of 4-0 India sound all to familiar from prior to the last home test series, no doubt if Clarkey and Watto's boys prevail in the tests it will be the ODI's that matter as this is the real test of skill. Here's to a good series of test cricket, it will be interesting to see if Clarkes' great test form continues as he is rated as an excellent player of spin and the young quicks (esp Bird) look promising. I did seen an Indian 'fan' refer to the 'overated' Clarke :) then again that was said about Cook. Swann and Anderson last Autumn.

Posted by WonkyBail on (February 19, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

Some concerns with spin for Aussies but predictions of 4-0 India sound all to familiar from prior to the last home test series, no doubt if Clarkey and Watto's boys prevail in the tests it will be the ODI's that matter as this is the real test of skill. Here's to a good series of test cricket, it will be interesting to see if Clarkes' great test form continues as he is rated as an excellent player of spin and the young quicks (esp Bird) look promising. I did seen an Indian 'fan' refer to the 'overated' Clarke :) then again that was said about Cook. Swann and Anderson last Autumn.

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (February 19, 2013, 0:50 GMT)

like the look of an aussie team in 2 years time. hughes, watson, khawaja, doolan, clarke. burns. wade/paine, starc, pattinson, zampa/agar, bird

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (February 19, 2013, 0:42 GMT)

@Zombeizom you are correct, it was in the end a practice match for us and the fact Watson, Wade, Khawaja all got batting practice on day 3 worked to our advanatage. @Simoc mate Khawaja is a Queenslander now and no longer from NSW similar to other players who have moved state.

Posted by Meety on (February 18, 2013, 23:51 GMT)

@VVS_a_class_act on (February 18, 2013, 13:43 GMT) - agree & disagree. I disagree that the comments you referred to were "brainless" - they were pragmatic. You are right in that IF India A inflicted an innings defeat on Oz, there would of been all sorts of pressure on Oz. However, if they had not of enforced the follow on & scored say 3/200 by stumps - it would ALMOST be as depressing. == == == I am happy that we followed on, it sort of turned a 3-day match into a 4-day game. It would of been bad had India A had of taken 7 or 8 2nd innings wickets, but there was a distinct improvement on the 1st innings. Bear in mind - it has been reported that Hughes & Cowan copped dud decisions in the 1st innings & also Oz did not use the 2nd new ball when it was due (not what will happen normally when you have a pace based attack). == == == Happy that Watto got 2 x 50s, but ANOTHER RUNOUT????????

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 23:35 GMT)

Can some Aussie fans tell me why Xavier Doherty has been put back in the Test frame for this tour and the Ashes? I'm interested because I was of the opinion that Nathan Hauritz was treated abysmally by both the selectors and the media, even though a healthy wickets tally at an average in the low-to-mid-thirties was their best spin option since Stuart MacGill? Okay his form went stale for a bit, but would Doherty do better *cough*Ashes 2010-11*cough? And where's O'Keefe? Last time I checked he had a sub-thirty average? And why do so many mock Nathan Lyon when he's been one of the few spin options they've had to average steadily? When I saw him he looked more accurate and more threatening than Doherty/Beer/Steve Smith etc. A curious England fan.

Posted by dharsanti on (February 18, 2013, 23:34 GMT)

Great show by gambir to his haters. Good to see him gaining his form. Treat to see him playing. He reminds me amla

Posted by luvindia on (February 18, 2013, 23:05 GMT)

Watch out for Cowan or Warner. In india left handed openers flourish. Remember Hayden, Flow er, Cook .... Indian pace bowlers should remove atleast 2 of the top 4 batsmen within first 20 overs. India use to do that when we were #1

Posted by MinusZero on (February 18, 2013, 22:56 GMT)

Once again Watson not going on with it. He is at best a lower middle order player. The runs would be much more useful there anyway. I am glad Cowan did ok.

Posted by Nampally on (February 18, 2013, 21:43 GMT)

@vishi27: Excuse me sir, 2015 is 2 years away. Indian team squad in 2015 will be quite a bit different from the present set. only conclusion you can draw from the present set that there are a lot of talented youngsters in the Indian Cricket who are all knocking at the door for inclusion in the Indian Squad & XI. Who will be the players of 2015 is anybody's guess.It is quite likely more than half the lot you listed may not be available or not good enough to make it to the squad. Also not knowing the Selection criteria or the Selectors, how will you pick a squad- based on Form, Fitness & performance or on random selection !

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

Very wrong to give the Aussies practice at Chennai, the same venue of the first test, but won't matter too much in the end.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

Gambhir's tactics were strange. Vinay Kumar & Kulkarni did not bowl a single ball. Are they in the team to Bowl or just field? These 2 bowlers are also contenders for a spot in the Indian squad. Gambhir as a captain is just as clueless as Dhoni. Tiwary would have been a better choice - being captain of Bengal.Follow on is OK when you have the bowlers to do the job.Not utilising 2 of the seamers is like assuming batsmen of the calibre of Watson incapable of playing spinners.Also Cowan, Khwaja, Wade & Hughes are no rabbits. It was just as great to see Saxena & Dhurv claiming 9 wkts. as Rasool's 7 wkts. haul. But can Ashwin & ojha do it in the Tests with Clarke addeed to this batting? Clarke & Watson are the 2 of the toughest batsmen in the World to get out.Hopefully Dhoni will not make the same mistake of ignoring B.Kumar & Ishant, using Gambhir's tactics! Dhoni is quite capable of filling the team with 4 spinners & 1 seamer or vice-a-versa, as he did ignobly in Australia with 4 seamers.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

Just got a feeling the austrailian middle order just did try enuf against the indian spinners may be they were trying to give their batsmen a little more practice

Posted by Hash_Tag on (February 18, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

Nothing has changed by any of this, we have learned nothing new. Obviously Australia have no spinner of any merit. Obviously we will call for spinning tracks, especially as Australia have no spinner. Obviously India will win this forthcoming Test series against Australia. I cannot see that Australia will be able to match us on our own turf.

Posted by Vishal63 on (February 18, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

India should learn from this match. Soon they'll be selecting their fifteen-man squad for the World Cup in Australia. This match shows us that the youngsters can perform. This should help the selectors for 2015 even though we're talking about a different format of the game compared to this Tour Match. India Squad for 2015 World Cup (possible): 1. Ajinkya Rahane, 2. Rohit Sharma, 3. Virat Kohli, 4. Manoj Tiwary, 5. Suresh Raina, 6. Yuvraj Singh, 7. MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8. Ravindra Jadeja, 9. Ravichandran Ashwin, 10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11. Umesh Yadav. SUBS: 12. Shami Ahmed, 13. Pragyan Ojha, 14. Yusuf Pathan, 15. Parthiv Patel

Posted by Beertjie on (February 18, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

Agree with the strategy @Mr_Ronan on (February 18, 2013, 12:47 GMT). Siddle, Starc, Bird and Henriques for this game will guarantee keeping it tight so lets see how Lyon goes. If he's no good give Doherty a shot in the 2nd test. Pattinson and Johnson can play the 3rd test where there'll be more bounce. But if we are to compete the batsmen will all have to work to keep us afloat!

Posted by Aussasinator on (February 18, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

India is a hospitable country. Australia were given some valuable batting practice before the first test. ideally it should have been denied. But the indian style is to pamper the opposition and get neaten hollow later. Thats what will happen now. the Oz batsmen are upbeat now. everything else forgotten.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 17:49 GMT)

Ofcourse this was just a practice match so I think the little Indians should temper their excitement. Regardless of the result of this tour, one fact remains, India can't play on any pitches outside of their own doctored ones. Fact, not opinion

Posted by DC75 on (February 18, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

Two important test matches starting on 22-Feb, one is a dead rubber and the other is battle of the "mid table" rankers. Both Ind and Aus are in transition phase and quite frankly I dont see great future in both sides unless some good performers come out of this series and I think it will be more from Aus than India. We struggled to beat...oops sorry compete against Eng, we may do a little better against Aus but I doubt we will win the series. Watson, Clarke are goood enough to repeat what Cook, Pieterson did to us and rest have to just play supporting cast. India still has lots of walking wickets so taking 20 indian wickets should not be a tough task for Aussies. But still as an ever optimistic Indian Fan - Go India

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

Wonderful tacticts by GG. Made sure that the Australians got enough match practice against spin which is going to have a series against an Indian side which doesn't have a place for him. Think, Indian seamers will be a surprise for the Aussies and for the same i want Watson to open. You cant keep him silent, but with a new ball and BK, who knows?

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (February 18, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

I think it was a very good decision by Gambhir to enforce the follow-on. The match was going to be a draw any way. But a follow-on against an Indian A team is a bit of psychological blow for the Australians before the Test series starts. Kudos to India A team for their brilliant performance!

Posted by Cricketfan101 on (February 18, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

stop complaining gambhir attacked and tried to WIN the game somwthing we dont see alot in india these days. Captains take the defensive mindset and gofirst inns lead in domestic matches all the time

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

Aus won't win 4-0, that I am sure

Posted by Nampally on (February 18, 2013, 16:18 GMT)

Gambhir's tactics were strange. Vinay Kumar & Kulkarni did not bowl a single ball. Are they in the team to Bowl or just field? These 2 bowlers are also contenders for a spot in the Indian squad. Gambhir as a captain is just as clueless as Dhoni. Tiwary would have been a better choice - being captain of Bengal.Follow on is OK when you have the bowlers to do the job.Not utilising 2 of the seamers is like assuming batsmen of the calibre of Watson incapable of playing spinners.Also Cowan, Khwaja, Wade & Hughes are no rabbits. It was just as great to see Saxena & Dhurv claiming 9 wkts. as Rasool's 7 wkts. haul. But can Ashwin & ojha do it in the Tests with Clarke addeed to this batting? Clarke & Watson are the 2 of the toughest batsmen in the World to get out.Hopefully Dhoni will not make the same mistake of ignoring B.Kumar & Ishant, using Gambhir's tactics! Dhoni is quite capable of filling the team with 4 spinners & 1 seamer or vice-a-versa, as he did ignobly in Australia with 4 seamers.

Posted by Noboundary on (February 18, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Few things we should have done: Not enforced follow on and get some batting practice, minimize their practice of their spin bowling and against our spin. England started like this and beat the hell out of us later! So nothing is to be made out of this practice game. Also our test team is full of players past their expiry date... "A" team is better in some respects.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 18, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

Following on against the one of the weakest sides in India is symbolic of where Australia are at the moment. What a shambles. We know Australia struggle to play in these conditions. But they could try to hide it a bit better.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

@VVS_a_class_act England have lost all the 2 practice matches they played but still could win 2 matches ag India (before that they have lost 12 mat ag India in India)... It is like having best players not selected for the team.

Also by giving follow-on they have given much practice to AUS batsmen which could help them to win the series.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

Excellent move by GG in enforcing the follow on.. If they had bowled the OZs out (tough ask), he would have got accolades by the dozen. if he hadnt enforced the follow on, he would have only ensured a drab draw and got tons of brickbats for being unimaginative and selfish..

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (February 18, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

agar, zampa, and okeefe good stocks, once the dreck(lyon, doherty) get dropped in the near future.

Posted by z0mbiezom on (February 18, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

Not a terrible result for australia - watson, cowan did well, khawaja and wade got good practice - dont be fooled by 200 odd allout in the first innings, siddle was batting at no.7.

Still think Australia missed a trick by not selecting David Hussey or Brad Hodge as their no.6 - henriques/maxwell/khawaja will not provide the same type of solidity that hussey or hodge would.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 18, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

Agar is the best spinner in Australia, but going at six an over against one of the weakest sides in the world may be laughed at by some, but is at least a starting point. It may take another ten years or so but at least Australia are making a start of things in the spin department, nothing could be worse than to continue with seamer Lyon, who after the 'Lyon saga' had to be kept in the team, because there simply is no one else. Saying O'keefe should be in because 'he bowls better darts' just goes to show the current state of the Australia spin department.

Posted by VickGower on (February 18, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

@VVS_a_class_act: " If Ind A can able to defeat Aus then that should be a psychological advantage to go into the series."

Any enduring psychological edge comes from consistent skills/performance. Win/loss in preseason/practice games has absolutely ZERO impact on a team's mindset in real game situations. In sports leagues around the world you routinely have situations where a team loses ALL its preseason games and then returns to championship form when the actual season begins. Aussies are not so mentally brittle that a bad innings in a practice game situation will psychologically devastate them. England lost both its practice games, yet zapped India in the opening ODI game.

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (February 18, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

@VVS_a_class_act - Thank you for making the most sensible comment in here. People criticizing this follow on just DON'T understand cricket or winning. Plain and simple. Gambhir knows that follow on or not, his place is determined by other opener's performance now, so there's no need for him to be selfish here.

Plus, comments about throwing Ashwin, Bhajji and Ojha out and replacing them with Rasool and co are hilarious. Sure, Rasool and co are good bowlers but they need more time.

Posted by FighterKallis on (February 18, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

Giving extra match practice to aussies is a worst decision. aussies are fast learners and they will show it in the first test.

Posted by VickGower on (February 18, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

@phunny_game: "When fans themselves think on the back foot right from the start, how can they accuse MS Dhoni of being defensive?"

There is a place for aggression, and a place for tactics. You have a whole bunch of batsmen who are searching for form/trying to get into the extremely uncertain Indian batting lineup. Long term, you are trying to figure out which batsman can withstand the vigor of upcoming SA/Eng/NZ tours where you face the type of bowlers who just don't exist in India. Does it not make sense to let your batsmen get some good net time with some of the best pace bowlers in the world , instead of solely relying on the backs of Yadav/Aaron? In addition, why would you want to give the aussie batsmen another 40-50 overs of time in the middle against spin? You have already posed all the questions you wanted to by bowling them out 200 short.

Posted by blink182alex on (February 18, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

Another run out involving Watson or Cowan, along with Hughes these guys need to make sure we don't gift any run outs in the tests.

The key for batting in the test series will be form batsmen making big hundreds, it can be hard to stat against spin but once guys are in they need to score big throughout the series. Look at how Cook and Amla were able to score big in India and then the others chipped in. Aus batsmen all averaging 40 odd in the series is ok but not match winning, 1 or 2 need to score 350-400 runs in the series. Look at why Gambhir has been dropped for India.

Posted by ultrasnow on (February 18, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Gambhir gambled with trying to bowl Australia out for a second time. Had the gamble worked everyone would have been chanting 'Bring back Gambhir the batsman and CAPTAIN'!!!!!

Posted by VVS_a_class_act on (February 18, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Here I can see few guys with brainless comments. I still didn't understand the fault in enforcing the follow on. By the time Aus bowled out in 1st ing, there are 60 odd overs left. So we can go for a kill. If Ind A can able to defeat Aus then that should be a psychological advantage to go into the series. If we play defensive cricket, people are crying and if we play attacking cricket still people crying. How dual standard people we Ind cricket fans are. I think we had a very short term memory (even less than Gajini), we comfortably forgot what happend in eng series. In both of the practice matches Ind played without spinners. But what is the End result???? We can't fool overselves for so long. Try to live in reality. To me, GG did right thing by enforcing follow on, which is a positive move in terms cricket.

Posted by Thefakebook on (February 18, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

Come on OZs do the right thing fly Zampa over to india.I'm all for Lyon but if he struggles he'll be dropped anyway and Xavier may not hold his own against indians for long.So the young legie may be summoned now.He is the future of OZ test spin.And yes he's inexperienced but Lyon has played 19 tests in his 35 1st classs games and had played just a couple before he was flown to SriLanka so, its not on experience they pick spinners, case in point Agar even if he may not play a test at all (or the very 1st test who knows how JI feels on the day??).Hope Zampa is picked as soon as possible since I don't think the other spinners are effective at all even in rank turners!

Posted by Paul-in-Finland on (February 18, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

Big Thanks to Indian think-tank for the extra Batting : hahahaha ! Brilliant move , getting the boys into form !

Posted by AvidCricFan on (February 18, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

Clarke is a good player of spin. He will tilt the balance of Aussie batting. Also, why did GG enforce follow on? What was he trying to get? Give more practice to Aussies? If we look at the recent series, Indian bowling and batting is weak. One factor in their favor is absence of quality spinner like Swan or Ajmal, in the Aussie squad. However, the current Indian batting line up can make average spinner like Monty look like world class.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 18, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

This only proves my point - current Indian test spinners are no good - we have better spinners waiting in the wings. Indian Selectors should grow a backbone and throw out Bhajji, Ashwin, and Ojha from the India squad. Replace them with Rasool, Saxena, and Dhruv. Nadeem of Jharkhand is another good spinner. While they are at it, they should also discard Tendulkar, Sehwag, and Ishant. These 3 biggest non-performers of all time have done nothing in last 2-3 years.

Posted by phunny_game on (February 18, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

I am amused seeing so many fellow indian commenting about why India a enforced the follow on. i have to admit that everyone from players to fans are more worried about being on the safe side... They made aussies follow on bcoz the spinners were on top in the morning and they could have easliy taken 6-7 aussie wickets... That would have further dented their confidence going into the first test... This is aggressive cricket n captaincy. When fans themselves think on the back foot right from the start, how can they accuse MS Dhoni of being defensive??!!!!

Posted by gsingh7 on (February 18, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

australian weakness in spin department was evident, both in batting and bowling, i wonder if indian national team can repeat such performance in first test? for that to happen india needs bhajji and ojha not the non spinner ashwin who can bat .or all 3. this result left no doubt in my mind that it will be 4-0 india series win in tests, come on INDIA.

Posted by shripadk on (February 18, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

@SherjilIslam It is probably done to devoid the Australian bowling attack the time to learn and exploit 3rd and 4th day subcontinent pitch. Batting is not their main worry. And lets be honest, the bowlers on show are not top tier bowlers either. They troubled them. That is enough hint to our top 3 spinners in Indian team. Gambhir shouldnt make it to Indian team if Dhawan does well in first 2 matches. So, even if he had scored another 50 or 100, it would not have made any difference. His road back to team is as much dependent on Dhawan's or Rahane's performance in International team as his own. Same is the case with Tiwari. His chance will come only when someone fails more in middle order. We all know he has good record in domestic cricket. He along with Badri are definitely next in line if there are any openings in middle order. In all, the 2nd innings was more or less inconsequential in this 3 day match. Wouldnt have mattered either way.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (February 18, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

It's a tough one but Henriques should play ahead of another batsman - cos our best hope is pace to achieve 20 wickets and we should have one of the pie throwers for variety.

Posted by VickGower on (February 18, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

What a stupid decision by Gambhir. Here they are breaking Umesh Yadav down because they want to face him as much in the nets as possbile since no one bowls as fast as him. Now you get a chance to face a whole bunch of genuine fast bowlers in practice situation, and you avoid it. I fear Gambhir sacrificed the national cause to avoid having a low score next to his name in the second innings.

Posted by CricketMaan on (February 18, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

Either you could call it stupidy or alteratively denying Aussie pace battery another practice on slow low indian pitches. May be GG was not confident to bat again and make a

Posted by Mary_786 on (February 18, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

@Mr.Ronan good analysis mate, yes with Watson, Clarke, Wade i like the batting attack, Khawaja got a fighting 30 not out today which will help his confidence, him and Hughes will also stand up in this series and with these guys we have a batting attack that can take it to the Indians. Still think that Hughes and Khwaaja will be our key batsman working around Clarke this series. Like your analysis on the Aussie bowling in the tests. @Sheriisslam yes i was surprised Gambhir put us in to batting again as it allowed batsman such as Khawaja, Cowan and Watson more time in the middle which they would have greatly appreciated. We appreciate him doing so.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

It is ironical, that. in Ranji Trophy were there is chance of outright victory, one does not enforce follow-on or declare. But here when it is beneficial to bat again and there is remote chance of vicxtory, You chose to give Aussies' another chance to practice.

Posted by Simoc on (February 18, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

Phew!. Thank goodness Khawaja stayed not out. Lets hope he turns out to be the hero his NSW brigade so desperately desire. The failure of their other star, SOK, to even rate a mention today means they're falling out of love with him.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (February 18, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

I just couldn't digest the stupidity of Indian think-tank of allowing Australians to bat again.Gambhir and Tiwari could have used this chance to score some runs and have presented the strong case of selection for themselves. Now Aussies have proper practice and watson has striked form....I hope they fail again when real test begins on feb-22.

Posted by Mr_Ronan on (February 18, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

Here is the KEY to the Aussies' bowling in the Tests: They must force the Indians to really attack Lyon. Although he still needs to improve greatly at bowling to stonewalling players (eg. Faf du Plessis in Adelaide), he has had good success dismissing players who go after him. But to ensure the Indians actually take him on, rather than just milking him for 3.5 to 4rpo, the other bowlers must strangle the batsmen. That's why playing a second spinner like Doherty is the wrong move because the Indians will then be happy to take minimal risks against either of the tweakers knowing they can milk them both at around 4rpo and keep the scoreboard ticking along. But if Aussies play 3 frontline pacemen plus Henriques, and they bowl as tightly as they have in the warm up games (where they've all gone for about 2rpo), they will test the batsmen's patience. Then the Indians' eyes will light up when Lyon or Clarke come on and they may go too hard at them. This is when our spinners can succeed.

Posted by KhanMitch on (February 18, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

We need a 5th option to cover for Lyon, who is struggling to take wickets (other than batsmen hitting out or tailenders), nor sustain pressure. As a result Invers/Clark/Arthur need to take 5 bowlers in to hide/take the pressure off Lyon. - When in reality he should be dropped. So, 5 bowlers in a test. - HOw do we hide it from the public? - Options A) Call Mitch Johnson an "all rounder" (3rd test v SL at SCG) B) Wade to bat at 6 which is not the long term solution. C) play 2 B-grade batsmen who are both part time spinners. By combining option B and C, the NSP A) Buy themselves coverage for Lyon's inability to take wickets B) Hide themselves from critisism of continually selecting non performing Lyon C) Will be hoping Like mad that our tail will wag. Why don't we do the logical thing and pick 6 specialist batsman(Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade). This will be the best choice but i guess we have to learn the hard way as we will end up picking 5 batsman.

Posted by Mr_Ronan on (February 18, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

Nice to see the Aussies put on a good showing in the second dig. Our key batsmen - Watto, Cowan and Wade - have all been amongst the runs so far this tour, so when you add in the gun pairing of Clarke and Wade our batting looks solid. It would've been good to see Hughes capitalise on his start today but he has been in sensational form the past few months, including against spin, so not a major concern. Of the guys likely to play the first Test, that just leaves Henriques. Who knows what to expect from him with the bat. His touch in the Shield has been phenomenal but he has thrown away good starts both times he's batted this tour.

Watto and Cowan have both made runs every time they've batted this tour, Wade has been solid, Khawaja needs to improve but has made a couple of 30s and

Posted by hycIass on (February 18, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

Ok, what did we learn from the warm up matches?

Wickers will favour spin, Pace might contain run scoring but might struggle to dismiss the Indians, ur batsman apart from Watson haven't been able to get on top of the conditions, some good runs in the middle order by Wade in first innings and Khawaja in 2nd innings but can they do it under pressure with Harbijan and Ohja on both ends . Cowan got a 50 but my worry is that he gets out as soon as spin is bought on. I want Watson and Cowan opening so we can see who is better. Wade has performed well with the bat in the middle order.Henriques looks like the all rounder. Lyon struggles to take wickets, and Doherty didn't harm his cause. Hughes is a worry against spin but i still think that Clarke, Khawaja and, Hughes willl be our best batsman in this tour.Basically we are up against it! Huge pressure on Clarke and the younger guns(i.e Khawjaa, Hughes and Wade will have to bat around him otherwise we are gone).

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

This is so much like Indian team management stupidity... You know Aussies are struggling against spin... You do not want them to practice and see more of Indian spin attack.. you have potential Indian batsman short of batting confidence in likes of Gautam, Sharma and Tiwary, who I would imagine cherish the chance of batting again.... God knows what was lalchand rajput or whoever the think tank was thinking about the follow-on... just to make headlines that India A team made Aussie follow on they forget the tactical side of cricket.... I pity the thought process

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (February 18, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

Never good for a team to follow on but it was good for us as it allowed Watson, Cowan and Khawaja to get some useful runs in the middle today. I am actually hoping Watson and Cowan open in the first test as it will allow us to see who is the better man for the job. No doubt Warner will come back as opener once he is fit so its only a matter of deciding who gets the other role. Hughes dismissed against spin once again but one thinks he will find a way through. From a batting perspective I can see Watson, Khawaja, Cowan and Clarke getting runs in this series. Its a shame Watson will have to go back for 1-2 games. I find it a bit weird Maxwell didn't play in this match given the hopes selectors have for him. Does that mean he's out of the frame for this test?Thought they could have opened with Hughes and Khawaja to give them the chance for more hitting time but Watto and Cowan must be feeling confident so no harm done.

Posted by SP68 on (February 18, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

Come on Aussies. The game has began now with the second string Spinners bowling out the Aussies and making them follow on is good. Get ready for the real test ahead

Posted by Mary_786 on (February 18, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

Watson top scored in both innings showing that he should be opening in test cricket, a mix up with Cowan cut short what may have been a 100 today. It seems that the only batsman who can get quick runs are the openers before the spinners come on. Warner's injury could be a blessing as it will allow watson to open and decide once and for all who should be opening for Austrla.In the middle order it was encouraging to see Wade, Henriques and Wade get runs today as that's where the battle will be won.Wade got 40 in the first innings and Khawaja got 30 not out in the second. Hughes is a worry as he fell to spin both times but he hopefully will fight his way through. Agar is heading home early which is the right thing to do given we have 2 spinners already on tour.

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Tour Results
India v Australia at Delhi - Mar 22-24, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Mohali - Mar 14-18, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Hyderabad (Deccan) - Mar 2-5, 2013
India won by an innings and 135 runs
India v Australia at Chennai - Feb 22-26, 2013
India won by 8 wickets
India A v Australians at Chennai - Feb 16-18, 2013
Match drawn
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