Australia A v India A, Tri-series final, Pretoria

Final run feast on flat surface

The Preview by Abhishek Purohit

August 13, 2013

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

August 14, Pretoria
Start time 0930 (0730 GMT)

Ambati Rayudu is struck on his helmet, South Africa A v India A, tri-series, Pretoria, August 9, 2013
India A's batsmen have come up short against Australia A twice this series © Getty Images

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?


"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

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Posted by JustIPL 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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!

Posted by JustIPL 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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...

Posted by   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

Posted by SandipManjrekar on (August 14, 2013, 10:56 GMT)


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.

Posted by   on (August 14, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

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

Posted by   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...

Posted by 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 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...

Posted by   on (August 14, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

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

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by JustIPL 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by   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.

Posted by   on (August 14, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

Beautifully written article.

Posted by   on (August 14, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Why isn't Virat kohlli playing these A matches?

Posted by   on (August 14, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

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

Posted by 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.

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (August 14, 2013, 3:59 GMT)

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

Posted by 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

Posted by   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!!!

Posted by 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 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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..

Posted by 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!

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