India A v Australia A, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 1st day September 9, 2008

Indian seamers strike on truncated day

Australia A 82 for 3 (Katich 32, Kulkarni 2-22) v India A

Simon Katich scored 32 on an unsatisfactory day for Australia © AFP
India A's seamers, led by Dhawal Kulkarni, made steady inroads to leave Australia A at an unsatisfactory 82 for 3 in a truncated day in Hyderabad. Poor weather continued to take the sheen off the series as play started five hours late due to a wet outfield. The umpires played it by the hour, and after periodic inspections, tried to get in three hours of play. Though the rain stayed away, bad light forced the players off the field with an hour of play still left.

A grassy pitch - unaffected by the weather - didn't deter Simon Katich from opting to bat but his choice wasn't entirely surprising. Australia's batsmen recovered well after being asked to follow-on in Bangalore and his decision was probably intended to carry on the momentum.

Australia's opening pair added 88 in the second innings in Bangalore but failed to replicate that effort. Phillip Hughes and Katich saw off the first few overs comfortably, but a lapse in concentration cost Hughes his wicket. Kulkarni, who opened the bowling ahead of Sudeep Tyagi, preferred bowling over the wicket to the left-handers and an away swinger induced an outside edge into the safe hands of Mohammad Kaif at second slip.

Kulkarni, however, failed to trouble Katich and was guilty of feeding too many deliveries close to his pads. Katich, a strong on side player, regularly shuffled across his stumps and flicked and glanced Kulkarni for four boundaries down to the region between fine leg and deep square-leg. The Indians continued to attack, packing the inner ring with fielders.

Katich's partner Adam Voges looked to get on top of the seamers, dispatching two half-volleys over square leg. He failed to push on as Kulkarni got one to kick up off a good length, feathering a thick edge to Parthiv Patel. The wicket went against the run of play, just as the Australians were progressing smoothly with a stand of 44. Tyagi, the UP seamer then opened his tally when Katich slashed at a delivery close to his body, with Mohnish Parmar at gully taking a sharp catch. Marcus North and George Bailey were at the crease for a short while before the light deteriorated.

The forecast is for more rains in the evenings, thereby diminishing any chance of a result after the draw in Bangalore.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a staff writer at Cricinfo