Australian batsmen walked off the field with their head held high at the end of Day 1’s play. They were tested by India A bowlers but managed to score 327 for 3 which excludes two batsmen who got retired hurt after scoring centuries. Skipper Steven Smith and middle-order batsman Shaun Marsh scored centuries before getting retired out to give other players a chance to get accustomed to Indian pitches before the tour begins on February 23.
Australia had a rough start when they lost the wickets of both openers David Warner and Matthew Henshaw in the first session itself. The credit goes to youngster Navdeep Amarjeet Singh who got the wickets of both the batsmen, who were caught behind the stumps by wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan.
Skipper Smith and Shaun Marsh were under pressure straightaway. They played out the new ball with utmost caution. It was in the second session that they started attacking the ball and increased the run-rate. Both the batsmen scored a flurry of boundaries and hit monstrous sixes off Shahbaz Nadeem to put the pressure back on India A bowlers.
Smith did not come to bat after tea break. Marsh too got retired after scoring his century. Peter Handscomb came into bat, he looked promising in the third session as well.
The game tilted slightly towards India A when skipper Pandya decided to opt for the new ball. He took the new ball in 81st over only. Ashoke Dinda bowled from the other end. He did not get any wickets but tried to build pressure on the newcomers Mitchell Marsh and Mathew Wade.
Pandya got the wicket of Handscomb in the first over after taking the new ball. His second spell was a joy to watch. Saini came in to bowl the last over of the day, he got injured in the second session. He bowled a maiden over upon his return as India A take the momentum into Day 2 of the three-day warm-up game.
Australia 323 for 3 (Steven Smith 107, Shaun Marsh 104; Navdeep Amarjeet Saini 2 for 27, Hardik Pandya 1 for 64) lead India A by 323 runs.