Maxwell, Warner blow India away
Continuing their series of losses, India suffered a hammering by hosts Australia, who won by 106 runs in the first warm-up fixture of the World Cup at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday. Opting to bat, Australia put on a mammoth total of 371 all out in 48.2 overs with man-of-the-match Glenn Maxwell (122) and left-handed opener David Warner (104) scoring centuries. In reply, India kept losing wickets at regular intervals and folded up for 265 in 45.1 overs.
Australia’s innings could be defined in two phases, the first half dominated by Warner and the latter dictated by all-rounder Maxwell. Runs flew from the fat bat of Warner, who hit the Indian pacers all over the oval ground. The burly left-hander smashed 14 boundaries and two sixes to build his 83-ball knock. Later, Maxwell came out with just one intention, to hit the ball beyond the boundary. The explosive right-hander smashed 11 fours and eight sixes to reach his century in a mere 53 deliveries. His last four balls read 4, 6, 6, 6, after which he decided to retire to give the lower-order a chance of have a swing.
The two centurions were well supported by opener Aaron Finch (20), Shane Watson (22), captain George Bailey (44) and Mitchell Marsh (21). Indian pacers were blasted all over the ground with Mohit Sharma (2/62) going back to the pavilion with an economy rate of 10.33 from six overs. Mohammed Shami (3/83) took three wickets but was hammered for 83 off 9.2 overs. Only spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had respectable figures of 6-0-29-0. In reply, India lost opener Rohit Sharma (8) and Virat Kohli (18) cheaply. But left-hander Shikhar Dhawan (59) and Ajinkya Rahane (66) combined well to score a 104-run third-wicket partnership to take the defending champions past the 150-mark.
But thereon, India lost wickets which diminished their chance of winning. Ambati Rayudu (53) hit a few lusty blows towards the end of the innings, propelling the total past 250 but it was a little to late for India.
If India captain MS Dhoni tried out eight bowlers during the Australian innings, his counterpart Bailey went one better to use nine bowlers during the Indian innings with pacer Pat Cummins coming out on top with figures of 6-1-30-3. India will play their next and last warm-up match against Afghanistan here Feb 10.
Briefscores Australia 371 all out in 48.2 overs (Glenn Maxwell 122, David Warner 104, George Bailey 44; Mohammed Shami 3/83, Umesh Yadav 2/52, Mohit Sharma 2/62) beat India 265 all out in 45.1 overs (Rahane 66, Dhawan 59, Ambati Rayudu 53; Pat Cummins 3/30, Mitchell Starc 2/16, Josh Hazlewood 2/25).
MSd keen to identify the playing XI before Pak tie
As Indian team suffered yet another defeat, MS Dhoni is struggling to identify his playing XI for the high-voltage World Cup clash against arch-rivals Pakistan. “It has been difficult for us. When the batsmen click, the bowlers don’t and when the bowlers do, the batsmen don’t. We need to sort that out. What’s important is we have one more game in our hand and before playing Pakistan it would be good to have the first XI in our hand,” Dhoni said, adding: “It will depend on our utility cricketers. If the pitches remain as it is, we need our spinners to use the bounce more.”