Millennium Post

Bowlers show fine form

Bowlers show fine form
Speedster Varun Aaron bagged a rich haul of four wickets as India bowled out Cricket Australia XI for a none-too-impressive 243 on the first day of their second two-day warm-up match here after a week of emotional turmoil owing to Phillip Hughes’ tragic death.

At stumps, India were 99 for two in 29 overs, with opener Murali Vijay and stand-in captain Virat Kohli remaining undefeated on 39 and 30, respectively. After an emotional week post the demise of Phillip Hughes, on-field action resumed with the tour game, which does not bear an official status.

That’s the reason India were allowed to opt for fielding without the toss being held. It was agreed that both teams will bat 100 overs each across two days. The reason why Ishant Sharma, who led the side during fielding, opted to bowl was to give the likes of Kohli and Rohit Sharma adequate time to rest since they arrived late on Wednesday from Macksville after attending Hughes’ funeral.

Regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will join the team on Saturday.

A minute’s silence was observed in the memory of the departed batsman and Indian players wore black armbands as a mark of respect. Even the scoreboard at the Gliderol Stadium had ‘RIP P Hughes 408’.

Back to the on-field action, it was India’s fastest bowler Aaron, who followed up his 3/72 in the first warm-up game with a 4/41 in 14.3 overs as he worked up good pace and bowled with good rhythm. Aaron shared the new ball with Mohammed Shami, who also got into the groove with 2/37 in 12 overs. Leg-spinner Karn Sharma did his case no harm with a haul of 3/57 from 13 overs. The pace duo reduced the hosts to 6/2 and then 34/3.

Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma, however, went wicket-less in the 12 and 11 overs that they sent down respectively. Among the frontline bowlers, Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were rested for the match. For the hosts, Jordan Silk held the top-order together with a knock of 58 runs and glovesman Seb Gotch contributed equal number of runs.

Once Aaron dismissed Silk, it led to collapse with Karn contributing to the damage. Gotch, who scored an unbeaten 58, delayed the inevitable after his side were reduced to 159/7 at one stage. He rallied the lower-order together and took the score past 200-run mark as he reached his half-century just before the innings was completed. Ravindra Jadeja (1-12) was the other wicket-taker for India.
The Indian innings began disastrously as Shikhar Dhawan played a loose shot off the very first delivery and was caught at short-leg for a duck. Vijay and Pujara were lucky to survive after they were dropped once each during the period. They added 35 runs for the second wicket before Pujara was caught nicely at first slip by captain Ashton Turner off Josh Lalor (2/18).

BRIEFSCORES India 2/99 trail Cricket Australia XI 243 (Silk 58,  Aaron 4-41) by 144 runs.
Next Story
Share it