Chennai: Australian batsmen’s weaknesses against spinners were exposed once again as India A’s unfancied spin duo — Rakesh Dhurv and Jalaj Saxena — excelled with an impressive display, forcing the visitors to follow on before the warm-up match ended in a draw, here, at the Guru Nanak College ground, on Monday.
Gujarat’s Dhurv grabbed five for 51, while Madhya Pradesh all-rounder Saxena took four for 61 to dismiss Australia for 235 in their first innings, in reply to India A’s 451.
With a lead of 216, India A captain Gautam Gambhir enforced the follow-on as the visitors did a shade better in their second essay, finishing on 195 for three.
Overall, it was a moral victory for the India A side as they exposed the chinks in the Australian armoury. Against Board President’s XI in their first warm-up game, Australia were bowled out for 241.
In consecutive matches, their batsmen failed to post a total in excess of 250, which certainly isn’t a good sign ahead of the first Test.
If Pervez Rasool created doubts in Australian minds about their inability to tackle spin bowling, Dhurv and Saxena’s performance will certainly compound their worries and at the same time, encourage the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha to go full throttle at Michael Clarke’s men.
Moreover, Australian spinners had very little success against the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary, Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu, all of whom negotiated Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty with ease. Australia had started the day at 131 for four, with overnight batsmen Matthew Wade (44) and Moises Henriques (33) taking the score to 176 in a 49-run fifth wicket stand.
Both were trying to hit their way out of trouble — especially Henriques, who smashed three sixes and a couple of boundaries in his 41-ball knock before padding an arm-ball from the left-armer Dhurv, leading to the start of the slide.
Peter Siddle was run out, having lasted only for a short while.