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Tour Match, Sydney, December 06 - 08, 2020, India tour of Australia
247/9d & 189/9d
(T:131) 306/9d & 52/1

Match drawn

Player Of The Match
125* & 2/12

Scare for Australia as Will Pucovski retires hurt after Wriddhiman Saha saves Indians from defeat

Three-day tour game ends in a draw after Australia A give Indians a proper workout

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Will Pucovski is assisted off the ground at Drummoyne Oval after a blow to the helmet  •  Getty Images

Will Pucovski is assisted off the ground at Drummoyne Oval after a blow to the helmet  •  Getty Images

Indians 9 for 247 dec & 9 for 189 dec (Saha 54*, Steketee 5-37) drew with Australia A 9 for 306 dec & 1 for 52
A significant worry was sent through the Australian camp late on the final day of the warm-up match at Drummoyne Oval when Will Pucovski was hit on the helmet by a short ball and was forced to retire hurt. It was later confirmed that he had experienced "mild concussion symptoms".
During the 13th over of Australia's second innings, in the closing moments of the match after they had been set 131 to win in 15 overs, Pucovski got into a tangle going for a pull against Kartik Tyagi, and took the ball on the helmet. He was on his hands and knees at the crease for around 90 seconds before walking off the ground with the doctor John Orchard nearby.
Pucovski has a long history of concussion with eighth previous occasions dating back to when he played junior football.
He had seemed set to make his Test debut in Adelaide following the injury to David Warner, but that may rest on the outcome of assessments carried out by the medics over the coming days. In a positive sign, he was up and talking in the changing room when the match ended and walked with his team-mates to the bus.
However, he has been ruled out of the day-night Australia A match starting at the SCG on Friday. He will remain with the squad when a group of the Test players head to Adelaide on Monday and be monitored by medical staff.
"Will experienced mild concussion symptoms but was able to leave the field unassisted," Orchard, Cricket Australia's chief medical officer, said. "He was monitored in our medical room and was communicating freely with staff and teammates as well as family over the phone."
The blow to Pucovski means Australia may need to add another opening batsman to the Test squad - at least as cover - which would likely be Marcus Harris, who was batting with Pucovski at the time.
A few minutes after Pucovski's blow, hands were shaken on a draw. Joe Burns' problems had also continued when he fell for a duck in the first over, dragging a drive into his stumps against Umesh Yadav, to leave him with 61 runs in seven innings this season.
Pucovski could have gone cheaply as well when he flashed at Mohammed Siraj on 1 and was put down by a diving Prithvi Shaw at second slip. He also survived a very close shout for lbw against Siraj when on 16 before his worrying exit from the crease.
When Siraj was bowled by Mark Steketee to complete his five-wicket haul, the Indians were just 84 ahead with 30 overs remaining, but Wriddhiman Saha and last-man Tyagi, in his second first-class match, were able to survive long enough and stretch the lead far enough that Ajinkya Rahane could call them in with an hour remaining.
Still, it was an unconvincing day with the bat for the Indians ahead of the opening Test in Adelaide. They have one more warm-up match, a day-night match at the SCG starting Friday, to fine-tune their game. However, they can be comforted by the time in the middle for Rahane, who added 28 to his first-innings century before he was the first of three wickets for Steketee in three overs before tea.
Travis Head opted to continue Australia A's first innings rather than declare first thing, which allowed Cameron Green to extend his score to 125. The Indian opening pair swiftly chipped away at the lead before Green's introduction with the ball had an impact, when Shaw fenced at his fifth delivery and sent a sharp catch to Pucovski above his head at gully.
Michael Neser then produced the ball of the match to nip past Cheteshwar Pujara's outside edge and take off stump - Tim Paine, watching closely, will hope his Test attack has a few of those ready - and then Green struck again in his third over when Shubman Gill carved a short ball to point. The Indians were three down without getting into the lead at that stage. Green could not have done much more to force the selectors' hands.
For 21 overs after that, Hanuma Vihari and Rahane chipped way and, with Australia A a bowler down in the absence of injured Jackson Bird, appeared to be taking the game towards a point where they may have been conversations about an early finish. But Vihari then nicked Neser to first slip and that was the beginning of a collapse of 6 for 24 which made an Indian defeat appear likely. After Rahane was given lbw, R Ashwin got a leading edge back to Steketee, who then had Kuldeep Yadav fending to first slip. After tea, he added Umesh Yadav, caught in the gully, and three balls later Siraj, who missed a wild swing.
Saha, making his return from the hamstring injury he suffered at the IPL, farmed the strike well, although Tyagi was impressively resolute when needed and was angry with himself after one play and miss. Saha went to his half-century from 99 balls with the first of consecutive boundaries off Head, which signalled the declaration.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo