Australian allrounder Cameron Green showed the Indian team management why he is so highly rated Down Under as he scored a brilliant, unbeaten 114 in the warm-up first-class match at Drummoyne Oval on Monday.
While the highlight of day one was Ajinkya Rahane’s classy century, it was Green’s turn to cross the three-figure mark as he helped Australia A recover from a tricky position against India A on day two.
For India, Umesh Yadav (3/44) and Ashwin Ravichandran (2/58) were impressive with the ball as they reduced Australia A to 98/5 at one stage. But Test captain Tim Paine joined Green in the middle to go about rebuilding for the hosts.
At stumps, Australia A were 286/8, ahead of the Indians by 39 runs.
After finishing day one on 237/8, India A did not declare their innings with captain Ajinkya Rahane resuming on 108* with Mohammed Siraj for company. But, once Siraj was dismissed, Indians did not prolong their innings, declaring on 247/9 with Rahane unbeaten on 117*.
Green rode his luck at times as he was dropped on 24 and 78, first by Hanuma Vihari, in the slips, off Umesh and then by keeper Wriddhiman Saha off the unlucky Mohammed Siraj (2/71).
But otherwise, the 21-year-old, tipped for a Test debut in the summer, displayed superb technique and counterattacked every time the opportunity presented itself.
The partnership with Paine (44) was broken by Prithvi Shaw’s superb catch off Umesh’s bowling but by then the damage had been done as the duo had added 104 runs for the sixth wicket.
Green, however, kept going despite wickets falling at the other end and reached his fifth first-class century as the hosts went past India A’s score and then some. The familiar frustration for Rahane and Co was the inability to dismiss the lower order quickly enough as Michael Neser (33) put on another partnership with Green that eventually ended in a run-out.
For the visitors, Umesh and Siraj bowled a superb opening spell. It was the former who accounted for both the Australian openers Will Pucovski (1) and Joe Burns (4). It is likely that Australia will have that pair open the batting in Adelaide for the first Test in David Warner’s absence and that will come as a huge boost for Umesh, who is a front-runner for the third seamer spot.
With head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun in attendance after India’s series win at SCG on Sunday, Siraj was also equally impressive even if he did not have enough wickets to show for his efforts. He finished with the wickets of captain Travis Head and James Pattinson, the former recklessly throwing his wicket away at the stroke of lunch. Siraj was at the receiving end of a poor umpiring decision as well and bowled better than his figure of 2/71 in 19 overs suggests.
Ashwin too looked in good rhythm, and he typically troubled the lefthanders, dismissing both Marcus Harris and Nic Maddinson. Harris, who is also a contender for the opening slot, looked at ease during his stay in the middle but was dismissed by a stunning catch by Rahane at slip off Ashwin.
The two Indian bowlers who did not have a good outing were rookie pacer Kartik Tyagi and wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav. While Tyagi (0/51 in 9 overs) was erratic and conceded too many boundaries, Kuldeep did not really look threatening despite keeping things tight (0/41 in 14 overs).
The first Test of the four-match series begins in Adelaide on December 17, with one more warm-up match to come after this for the Indians. That will be played with the pink ball.
Day 2 highlights:
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