Australia A v India A, Tri-series final, Pretoria August 13, 2013

Final run feast on flat surface

29

Match facts

August 14, Pretoria
Start time 0930 (0730 GMT)

Big Picture

It looked an excellent plan on paper. Send your fringe players, and a few first-choice batsmen, to South Africa on an A tour three months before the senior side travels to the country. Ideally, far better preparation than any camp in home conditions would have been. The main course - the two unofficial Tests - are yet to arrive, but going by what has happened in the one-day tri-series, India A haven't missed home much.

The pitch at the LC de Villiers Oval in Pretoria has been so flat the South Africa A captain Justin Ontong has been left hoping for some grass on the wickets for the unofficial Tests. Given that one of them will be played on the same ground, Ontong might as well put in a prayer along with hoping.

India A have not experienced what the senior team management might have wanted them to, but they have done what they usually do on such pitches back home. The batsmen have prospered, the bowlers have suffered. In their defence, the other sides have fared similarly.

Barring the opening match, the side batting first has scored big and won, although the biggest margin has been only 39 runs. India A have made 291 and 285 and still lost, both times to Australia A. They have also shown off their batting firepower as they often do in one-dayers in benign conditions, plundering 309 in 38 overs against South Africa A. Shikhar Dhawan's astonishing 248 helped them to 433 against the same opposition.

However, it is Australia A, and not the hosts, who await India A in the final. They are the only side to chase successfully in this series. They then went ahead and defended successfully from a seemingly lost cause as India A choked.

Just like their opponents in the final, Australia A have several international players, who will be eyeing selection for the limited-overs leg of the senior side's dismal England tour. "Hopefully some of the performances coming off the back of this tour have got some guys in there," Aaron Finch, the Australia A captain, said. "Some of the guys definitely have their fingers crossed." Unlike India A, they can claim their workout in South Africa has been ideal, and timely.

In the spotlight

Suresh Raina has been India A's most economical bowler. While all the batsmen are internationals, India A have come with an inexperienced bowling attack. The spinners are yet to play for the senior side, as are two of the fast bowlers. Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat are raw in international cricket. All of them have been expensive, but Ishwar Pandey came in for praise from the coach Lalchand Rajput in his only match of the series. Rajput said Pandey came back strongly after an expensive opening spell against South Africa A to bowl several yorkers at the death and pick up four wickets. India A will need plenty more of them.

Glenn Maxwell has taken a liking to the Indians this series. He savaged them for an unbeaten 145 off 79 at No. 7 to launch Australia A from 152 for 8 to 298 for 8. That earned him a promotion to No. 4, from where he hit 93 off 56. What does he have in store for India A in the final?

Quotes

"There has been a run fest for the batters on this pitch and a hard time for the medium-pacers. We have a team of pretty aggressive players and we're all very experienced in one-day cricket, we're very confident of our abilities and it's been good that we haven't quite played our best cricket and yet we've won three matches so far."
Aaron Finch, the Australia A captain

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 13, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    What will be the best playing 11 for team India now? Though it is final Rohit should be opening with Dhawan as he is the most consistent amongst all scoring 3 half centuries in all 3 matches he has played. Now Rayudu also played well in all 3 matches he has played. Both Rohit & Rayudu were given rest in last match against SA. So the think tank having a bit tough task selecting final 11. I think Vijay will make way for Rohit. And if we want to include Rayudu then Rahane or Raina should be given rest. As per strategy we are observing on the tour, I think It's now automatically Rainas turn to take rest. But keeping out such an experienced player like Raina in the final is also has question mark. Plus in last 2 matches Raina was not abled to score runs out cheaply. In fielding too he drops some important catches. So he is definitely eager to show sparkling performance in final. Lets see what Lalchand Rajput & Co thinks tom. All the best Team India !!!

  • BustIPL on August 18, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    Off course all players cannot get chances. Many great players in australia and west indies did not get a chance at all and there are many examples for that. After few players cement their places then others have to wait may be whole their of their career.With players coming from A, U19, U123, IPL, Domestic soon there will be too many options.

  • jjradha on August 14, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    There he goes again. When the team really need runs, need a win Rohit fails. Its becoming habit for him to fail in important matches. Future captain Mr. Kohli.

  • on August 14, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    Good work once again from Hazlewood and NCN, I really rate Hazlewood and his performances just keep on getting better. 243 doesn't look a huge target but then again we only have a couple of guys that can actually bat, game on!

  • BustIPL on August 14, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    India are playing the young talent that kept them victorious away from home in limited overs formats which makes it the first choice team so we should not cry that we did not have first choice team. Also, being the world champs India cannot play senior players in an A side tournament. simply Indian A side is not good enough.

  • Sheikasif on August 14, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Pathetic performance by the batsman. Pujara made wrong choice batting first and got out cheaply himself. Rohit and Raina once again failed.With the Unadakat not there, i dont see any hope with bowlers. Australia A will thrash India A today.

  • indian_fight on August 14, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    So,playing against quality Australian Bowling attack once again exposed the famed Indian Batsmen..Mr.Talented Sharma,Raina etc etc...I appreciate arunsahu's comment about Mr.Talented sharma...

  • on August 14, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    We have literally lost the match!!!!a mediocre 250 around total will not fetch a win!!! Good luck india a

  • SandipManjrekar on August 14, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    @arunsahu

    Oh here comes another basher!! Looking for an opportunity to put gun on Rohit. Can't understand this type of mindset every day even he plays well. Stop comparing & holding accountable the players for not getting nod to a particular player. Rahane had got many opportunities in last ENG tour. He will definitely get chances in future.

  • on August 14, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Dinesh Karthik is rocking today:) May be we can expect another double ton

  • on August 13, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    What will be the best playing 11 for team India now? Though it is final Rohit should be opening with Dhawan as he is the most consistent amongst all scoring 3 half centuries in all 3 matches he has played. Now Rayudu also played well in all 3 matches he has played. Both Rohit & Rayudu were given rest in last match against SA. So the think tank having a bit tough task selecting final 11. I think Vijay will make way for Rohit. And if we want to include Rayudu then Rahane or Raina should be given rest. As per strategy we are observing on the tour, I think It's now automatically Rainas turn to take rest. But keeping out such an experienced player like Raina in the final is also has question mark. Plus in last 2 matches Raina was not abled to score runs out cheaply. In fielding too he drops some important catches. So he is definitely eager to show sparkling performance in final. Lets see what Lalchand Rajput & Co thinks tom. All the best Team India !!!

  • BustIPL on August 18, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    Off course all players cannot get chances. Many great players in australia and west indies did not get a chance at all and there are many examples for that. After few players cement their places then others have to wait may be whole their of their career.With players coming from A, U19, U123, IPL, Domestic soon there will be too many options.

  • jjradha on August 14, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    There he goes again. When the team really need runs, need a win Rohit fails. Its becoming habit for him to fail in important matches. Future captain Mr. Kohli.

  • on August 14, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    Good work once again from Hazlewood and NCN, I really rate Hazlewood and his performances just keep on getting better. 243 doesn't look a huge target but then again we only have a couple of guys that can actually bat, game on!

  • BustIPL on August 14, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    India are playing the young talent that kept them victorious away from home in limited overs formats which makes it the first choice team so we should not cry that we did not have first choice team. Also, being the world champs India cannot play senior players in an A side tournament. simply Indian A side is not good enough.

  • Sheikasif on August 14, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Pathetic performance by the batsman. Pujara made wrong choice batting first and got out cheaply himself. Rohit and Raina once again failed.With the Unadakat not there, i dont see any hope with bowlers. Australia A will thrash India A today.

  • indian_fight on August 14, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    So,playing against quality Australian Bowling attack once again exposed the famed Indian Batsmen..Mr.Talented Sharma,Raina etc etc...I appreciate arunsahu's comment about Mr.Talented sharma...

  • on August 14, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    We have literally lost the match!!!!a mediocre 250 around total will not fetch a win!!! Good luck india a

  • SandipManjrekar on August 14, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    @arunsahu

    Oh here comes another basher!! Looking for an opportunity to put gun on Rohit. Can't understand this type of mindset every day even he plays well. Stop comparing & holding accountable the players for not getting nod to a particular player. Rahane had got many opportunities in last ENG tour. He will definitely get chances in future.

  • on August 14, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Dinesh Karthik is rocking today:) May be we can expect another double ton

  • on August 14, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Indian Bowling side is struggling a bit. It is the right time for the young bowling squad to learn how to bowl in abroad conditions...

  • arunsahu on August 14, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    i don't understand why there is so much hype for Rohit Sharma... People get happy when he make runs playing for india... and forget his completely dismal performances Playing for India...in his 110 matches he scored 1600 runs against westindies and Zimbwabe in 22 of them and in rest 88 he scored 1000 runs.. and still getting so many chances.. what wrong rhane has done that he is not evn looked in or find talented enough to play for india A also rest aside inda...

  • on August 14, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    I am expecting a close fight today at Pretoria. Waiting to watch Shikhar Dhawan's Big-Bang

  • on August 14, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    JustIPL.....have a look at the averages and you will see Pujara's average is better then Sharma Raina and Karthik! Pujara selection is fully justified.

  • AlvinJoe on August 14, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    India A should have bowled first, now India doesn't know what total to post and anything below 300 or even 350 will be easily chased by Australia A with their strong batting and the poor bowling of India A. And I would like to be proved wrong.

  • BustIPL on August 14, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    Does not seem to be a run feast for India after pujara who did not justify hype about his selection so far and Rohit both got out cheaply. Dhawan will be eyeing for a tripple hundred and might falter this time.

  • on August 14, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Yes. It will really be a run feast...I hope the young Indian team is all set and expecting a big bang

  • on August 14, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    wishing u good luck .lost 2 close matches while chasing. may u win a close match defending.want a big century from dhawan or rohit.

  • on August 14, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    Beautifully written article.

  • on August 14, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Why isn't Virat kohlli playing these A matches?

  • on August 14, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Wish You All Success to India a Cricket Team for Today's Final match Against Australia. (y)...

  • Chetan007 on August 14, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Indian team needs a proper bowling unit to bowl tight in the final. It's better if they field Sami, Ishwar and Unadkat as the three pacers and Shahbaz and Rasool as the two frontline spinners. Either Rasool or Nadeem should open the bowling for India for two overs with Unadkat.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on August 14, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    it will be DHAWAN and VIJAY against south africa in upcoming test.

  • himanshu.team on August 14, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    If India pull of this win today, then regardless of conditions or opposition it will be a good preparation for the upcoming SA tour. The guys would know how to win and would beleive in themselves. That should be the most important thing. For guys like Rasool and Pandey this is the time to shine. If they bowl well today against the most consistent side of the tournament, they will make a strong case for selection in the senior side. All the best guys. I dont care who plays and who rests as long as we get a convicing win over the Ausies

  • on August 14, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    Seems like pitches are right out of India. Indian bowling looks very inexperienced. With the pitches being so flat, Rasool and Nadeem will need to be on top of their game, because the medium pacers are sitting ducks without any movement. Raina is the biggest disappointment of the past two months and Rohit a very pleasant surprise. Shikhar is a Bowler now?? I guess he can't do any wrong. Aussie bowling doesn't look great either. Million Dollars is in good form and so is Finch. With the way things are going for Australia, hope this Aussie team also comes second best. May the best team win and may that team be India. Bring it home Boys!!!

  • SavvyCanadian on August 13, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    For the final Match against Australia A, I suggest the following team for India A - [1] Dhawan, [2] Rohit (In this tournament, so far Rohit has better average of 64 and a better SR of 92 as against Vijay's average of 50 and a SR of 88), [3] Pujara, [4] Raina (most economical India bowler & hard-hitting finisher), [5] Rayudu (In this tournament, his average so far, is 53 & SR is 135 and he is one of the only 4 Indian batsmen who are among the top ten of all batsmen, among all teams, in batting rankings), [6] Karthik, [7] Binny (he needs to be given enough bowling to justify his selection and Binny has to step up in batting to prove himself...so far he is a total failure in batting and bowled very less overs, Pujara relying more on part-time bowlers like Raina & Dhawan), [8] Pandey (In this tournament, so far, the best Indian bowler with a considerably better average & SR compared to every other Indian bowler), [9] Unadkat (definitely better than Shami or Kaul), [10] Rasool, [11] Nadeem.

  • Naresh28 on August 13, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Nice to see Pujara come amongst the runs and feel really sorry for him as his bowlers have struiggled. Being a captain you need a good balance. A fan commented yesterday that India should have had a bowler like Rahul Shukla - ya we remember him from the IPL.Wish he was there - but he is not and India will have turn to the spinners and two part time spinners. The pace bowlers need to strive to aim for economy.

  • tanojupraveen on August 13, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Suresh Raina should be tested as Opener as he was not getting enough batting overs.. in the lower order.. Rayudu can be good batsmen provided if we give good oportunities for him..

  • Nampally on August 13, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    On this Pretoria pitch 829 runs (@ S/R 8.29/0ver) were scored in the last India Vs. SA match with 3 centuries & a double century! A score of 250 is considered a winning total in most ODI's. But in Pretoria even 400 is not a safe total. With this in mind India play the Australians in the final. It is going to be a slug fest with Marsh & Maxwell leading the Aussies & Dhawan & Co. leading the Indian batting. Stated simply, it is India's strong batting vs. Aussies strong bowling. Aussies with 2 wins over the Indians start as the favourites. It will be up to the Indian team to break this pattern. Pandey is a new bowler who the Aussies have not faced yet. He needs to rise up to the occasion.But it boils down to the performance on the match day & the self confidence in themselves. India is World #1 ODI side & I expect their A Team should also go with this thought in mind & play like Champions. I expect India will field 3 seamers (Pandey & Unadkat + Binny) & 4 spinners.Good luck to both sides!

  • Nampally on August 13, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    On this Pretoria pitch 829 runs (@ S/R 8.29/0ver) were scored in the last India Vs. SA match with 3 centuries & a double century! A score of 250 is considered a winning total in most ODI's. But in Pretoria even 400 is not a safe total. With this in mind India play the Australians in the final. It is going to be a slug fest with Marsh & Maxwell leading the Aussies & Dhawan & Co. leading the Indian batting. Stated simply, it is India's strong batting vs. Aussies strong bowling. Aussies with 2 wins over the Indians start as the favourites. It will be up to the Indian team to break this pattern. Pandey is a new bowler who the Aussies have not faced yet. He needs to rise up to the occasion.But it boils down to the performance on the match day & the self confidence in themselves. India is World #1 ODI side & I expect their A Team should also go with this thought in mind & play like Champions. I expect India will field 3 seamers (Pandey & Unadkat + Binny) & 4 spinners.Good luck to both sides!

  • tanojupraveen on August 13, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Suresh Raina should be tested as Opener as he was not getting enough batting overs.. in the lower order.. Rayudu can be good batsmen provided if we give good oportunities for him..

  • Naresh28 on August 13, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Nice to see Pujara come amongst the runs and feel really sorry for him as his bowlers have struiggled. Being a captain you need a good balance. A fan commented yesterday that India should have had a bowler like Rahul Shukla - ya we remember him from the IPL.Wish he was there - but he is not and India will have turn to the spinners and two part time spinners. The pace bowlers need to strive to aim for economy.

  • SavvyCanadian on August 13, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    For the final Match against Australia A, I suggest the following team for India A - [1] Dhawan, [2] Rohit (In this tournament, so far Rohit has better average of 64 and a better SR of 92 as against Vijay's average of 50 and a SR of 88), [3] Pujara, [4] Raina (most economical India bowler & hard-hitting finisher), [5] Rayudu (In this tournament, his average so far, is 53 & SR is 135 and he is one of the only 4 Indian batsmen who are among the top ten of all batsmen, among all teams, in batting rankings), [6] Karthik, [7] Binny (he needs to be given enough bowling to justify his selection and Binny has to step up in batting to prove himself...so far he is a total failure in batting and bowled very less overs, Pujara relying more on part-time bowlers like Raina & Dhawan), [8] Pandey (In this tournament, so far, the best Indian bowler with a considerably better average & SR compared to every other Indian bowler), [9] Unadkat (definitely better than Shami or Kaul), [10] Rasool, [11] Nadeem.

  • on August 14, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    Seems like pitches are right out of India. Indian bowling looks very inexperienced. With the pitches being so flat, Rasool and Nadeem will need to be on top of their game, because the medium pacers are sitting ducks without any movement. Raina is the biggest disappointment of the past two months and Rohit a very pleasant surprise. Shikhar is a Bowler now?? I guess he can't do any wrong. Aussie bowling doesn't look great either. Million Dollars is in good form and so is Finch. With the way things are going for Australia, hope this Aussie team also comes second best. May the best team win and may that team be India. Bring it home Boys!!!

  • himanshu.team on August 14, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    If India pull of this win today, then regardless of conditions or opposition it will be a good preparation for the upcoming SA tour. The guys would know how to win and would beleive in themselves. That should be the most important thing. For guys like Rasool and Pandey this is the time to shine. If they bowl well today against the most consistent side of the tournament, they will make a strong case for selection in the senior side. All the best guys. I dont care who plays and who rests as long as we get a convicing win over the Ausies

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on August 14, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    it will be DHAWAN and VIJAY against south africa in upcoming test.

  • Chetan007 on August 14, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Indian team needs a proper bowling unit to bowl tight in the final. It's better if they field Sami, Ishwar and Unadkat as the three pacers and Shahbaz and Rasool as the two frontline spinners. Either Rasool or Nadeem should open the bowling for India for two overs with Unadkat.

  • on August 14, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Wish You All Success to India a Cricket Team for Today's Final match Against Australia. (y)...

  • on August 14, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Why isn't Virat kohlli playing these A matches?