Wriddhi’s 2nd innings fightback amid collapse
Wriddhiman Saha got himself some invaluable batting practice with a sedate half-century ahead of the first Test against Australia, but his other famed Indian teammates failed to bat long as their warm-up game against Australia A ended in a draw here on Tuesday.
Medium pacer Mark Steketee, who returned impressive figures of five for 37, came in the way of what could have been a few sessions of good batting practice on the final day for the touring Indians.
Making up for his first-innings nought, Saha top scored for the visitors with an unbeaten 54 from 100 deliveries at the Drummoyne Oval. The seasoned Saha found the fence seven times during his stay in the middle.
Beginning with a deficit of 59 runs, the Indians declared their second innings at 189 for nine, and in reply, the Australians, needing 130 in 15 overs to register an outright victory, reached 52 for one when stumps were drawn for one last time in the game.
India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who is going to lead the team in the absence of Virat Kohli after the first Test, followed up his neat first-innings century with a knock of 28.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who made a solid half-century in preparation for the marquee series opener, however, failed to open his account in the second essay.
The young opening duo of Prithvi Shaw (19) and Shubman Gill (29) added 37 runs for the first wicket before Cameron Green sent the former back. Pujara did not last long and was bowled by Michael Neser, which brought to crease Hanuma Vihari.
Vihari made 28 before Neser had him caught by Burns. For the home team, Green enjoyed a fine all-round outing having scored an unbeaten 125 in the first innings total 306 for nine declared.
After his impressive performance in the first innings, during which he picked up three wickets, pacer Umesh Yadav added another scalp to his name when the Australians went out to bat again.
Australia A were overnight 286 for eight with Green batting on 114. In the first session of the final day, Green added another 15 runs before the hosts declared.
The Indians started on a promising note but soon started losing wickets at regular intervals, with Stekette doing the bulk of the damage.
The Test series starts with the Day-Night game in Adelaide from December 17-21.