Posted On Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 07:46:24 AM
Australia’s Tour of India got off to the worst possible start yesterday as Parvez Rassol’s seven wickets stunned the visitors restricting them to 241 on Day One of the two-day warm-up match against a third-string Indian Board President’s XI in Chennai yesterday.
It could not have been a better birthday gift for the immensely talented J&K cricketer, who recorded his career-best figures a day before his 24th birthday today. All-rounder Rassol finished with handsome figures of 7 for 45, which cleaned up the Aussies in 88.3 overs.
|C Suresh Kumar
|MAN OF THE HOUR: Board President’s XI’s Rassol celebrates a wicket during the warm-up match with Australia yesterday
Australia were hoping to acclimatise themselves with the turning Subcontinental pitches, before the start of the four Test series on February 22. Australia began well with Usman Khwaja (32) and Ed Cowan (58) putting on 77 for the first wicket.
Cowan (58) was Rassol’s first victim and departed after adding 32 with Matthew Wade as he edged one behind to Parthiv Patel.
Wade picked up the scoring with Steven Smith and the pair put on 58 before the former, standing in Australia captain for this match, was caught by Kamlesh Makvana off Rassol for 35.
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Wade’s exit affected Australia adversely and they imploded briefly losing 3 wickets in the space of 31 runs going from 167 for 3 to 198 for 6, Smith (41), Moises Henriques (16) and Glenn Maxwell all walking back one after the other.
Maxwell’s employers in the IPL, Mumbai Indians, who made him the most expensive player in the 2013 auction after buying him for $1 million, will be fretting over the form he showed in the match as he was out for a golden duck after nicking one into Patel’s gloves off Stuart Binny.
Peter Siddle and James Pattinson offered resistance towards the end with a 30-run stand that ended when Pattinson became Rassol’s fourth victim (Rassol earlier claiming Smith’s scalp).
Pattinson was out for 9, while his partner Siddle walked back a run and three balls later in the same Rassol over, this time the ball dropping into Mandeep Singh’s hands.
Nathan Lyon added a tidy 12 off 18 balls at the end and remained unbeaten as Jackson Bird (1) and Ashton Agar (0) departed cheaply.
While Rassol was the pick of the President’s XI bowling attack with 28.3-9-45-7, Ladda finished with 2 for 90 and Binny with 1 for 29.
Rassol’s seven-wicket haul has underlined the influence spin could have in deciding the Test series, but Cowan said the Aussies have focused hard on countering the turning conditions here. “It was a pretty good day.
Everyone had a good hit at the top of the order,” Cowan said. “The wicket was turning, so it was good practice against some really talented spin bowlers. The wicket was a bit two-paced. The ball reversed pretty quickly.
So it was hard to score but it is a small ground, so adecent score for a first hit out. It’s easy to call it a practice game, but it is more than that for a lot of us - to come over early, to get the conditions, to get our plans in place against the spinners.
At the end of the day it’s about scoring some runs.” Australia face an India A side led by Gautam Gambhir in their second warm-up game. The three-day First Class match starts on February 16.