India defies the bookmakers again in heated warm-up match against Australia

By | December 21, 2020

India’s final warm-up match before the four match Test series, beginning in Adelaide from December 17, concluded in a draw on Sunday and not a victory for Australia which was otherwise the outcome expected by most cricket betting sites in India. 

Here are a couple of the main events that occurred during the match: 

Gill shines, Shaw fails, Agarwal defiant: India’s top-order get a good hit 

For any team to do well overseas, their opening batsmen must give them a good foundation for the rest of the line-up to feel comfortable when their turn to bat arrives. The warm-up match for both Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw proved similar as both players had one good innings and failed in the other. 

However, the latter’s dismissal in the game would be worrisome for the management and so they will want to try Shubman Gill, who was impressive in both innings, to open with Agarwal in the first Test. 

Bowlers come to the rescue after first innings collapse 

India were bundled out for 194 runs in the first innings. Even getting there looked difficult, when they found themselves 123–9. Then Jasprit Bumrah turned it on, with the bat. En route to reaching his first-ever half century, he put on 71 runs with Mohammad Siraj for the tenth wicket.  

Then with the ball, a combination of swing with the pink ball under the lights and some unexpected showers saw India’s bowlers put on a masterclass as Shami, Siraj, Bumrah and Saini ran through Australia A to skittle them out for 108 runs and a take a 86-run lead.  

Pant stakes a claim for wicket-keeping spot 

After failing in the first innings, the second innings had extra importance attached for Rishabh Pant. Sent it to bat at number six, the southpaw did not disappoint, making a quickfire century and putting a substantial stand with Hanuma Vihari, that put India in a commanding position in the game. 

In the fourth innings, Pant received an extended workout with the gloves, thereby enhancing speculation that he will get the nod over Wriddhiman Saha for the first Australia vs. India Test at Adelaide.  

Australia‘A’ batsmen come good at the right time 

An overnight declaration from India meant that at the start of the final day, the Australians were left with the tall order of making 472 runs in 90 overs. Whatever minute hopes of doing that were evaporated early as the Indian seamers left them in doldrums at 25–3. 

However, that is when Ben McDermott, first with Alex Carey who made 58 and later with Jack Wildermuth, who made an unbeaten hundred, played out the rest of the day with confidence and assurance, by keeping the Indians at bay.  

McDermott, who made 107 runs in 167 balls, first put on 127 runs with Carey and then added 165 runs for the fifth wicket with Wildermuth to take their side to safe waters.  

While none of the rescuers are in line for a spot in the Australian playing XI, the selectors would have found hope that in case an issue crops up for any of the main players, anyone from these three could be called in to do a job.  

 

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