IND A v AUS, Warm up Review: Shreyas Iyer's double hundred a reality check for the visitors

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Shreyas Iyer
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Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In a unique event, one Australian team was playing an international T20 match against Sri Lanka back home while the other was playing a warm-up game against India A for the 4-Tests series in India. They have their last T20I scheduled in Adelaide on February 22nd and the Test match against India begins the very next day in Pune.

It was the only warm-up game that the Aussies play before the Test series and it was a great opportunity for them to get the feel of Indian conditions as many of the members of their squad have made their way to India for the first time to don white clothing.

At the Cricket Club of India, Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, Australia were invited to bat first after India A won the toss. They did not have the best of starts as the opener David Warner was sent back in the 9th over by Navdeep Amarjeet Saini for 25 runs. Saini bagged the other opener as well in the form of Matthew Renshaw for 11 runs in the 17th over.

The captain Steven Smith was then joined by Shaun Marsh in the middle and both constructed a lovely partnership. They added 156 runs for the 3rd wicket. Smith brought up his century and retired out at the score of 107 runs. His innings consisted of 12 fours and a six. Marsh also brought up his three figures and retired out after scoring 104 runs with 11 fours and a six.

There were contributions from the lower middle order with Peter Handscomb scoring 45, Mitchell Marsh making 75 and the wicket-keeper Matthew Wade also getting 64 runs. Australia declared their innings at the score of 469/7 after batting for 127 runs. It was a good exposure for the batsmen ahead of the important series.

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For the bowlers, it was a tough period with Saini being the pick of the bowlers having figures of 42/2 in 19.4 overs. Hardik Pandya, Shahbaz Nadeem and Akhil Herwadkar picked up wicket apiece where the pacer Ashoke Dinda went wicketless.

India A in reply lost an early wicket as the opener Herwadkar was caught and bowled by Nathan Lyon for just 4 runs. Priyank Panchal had then had a fifty run stand with Shreyas Iyer for the second wicket before Lyon removed him to grab his second wicket.

From then on, Iyer kept losing partners at the other at regular intervals and none of them formed a partnership of substance with him until he got support late in the innings from Krishnappa Gowtham batting at number 8. The duo put together 138 runs for the 7th wicket when Gautam was dismissed for a quickfire 74 off 68 balls that had 10 fours and 4 sixes.

Iyer stood firm as he saw rest of the batsmen fell at the other end. He scored a magnificent double century and stayed unbeaten at 202 runs off just 210 balls with 27 fours and 7 sixes. India A were bowled out for 403 runs in 91.5 overs but the innings was all about Iyer who single-handedly took his team to a respectable total.

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Australia’s second innings lasted for just 36 overs as the time ran out. They lost four wickets for 110 runs as Handscomb was the highest scorer with 37 runs and Warner getting 35 runs. The three-day game ended in a draw but it must come as a wake-up call for the visitors.

There were some moments of sledging from the Aussies towards Iyer but the batsmen responded with a double ton. They have had the history of sledging Virat Kohli in the past and if they do so again, just imagine if Iyer replied that way, then what Kohli is capable of doing.

The Aussie spinners looked off the radar as Lyon went for 5.62 runs per over and Stephen O’Keefe was taken for 4.21 runs an over by the India A batsmen. Lyon was able to bag 4 wickets but the economy rate was just too much which was the case with O’Keefe too, who picked up 3 wickets by being costly.

The positives for them would be the centuries from Smith and Shaun Marsh but there is a huge scope for improvement in the bowling department especially for the spinners. India had been invincible at home for a long time and it would be extremely difficult for the Aussies to win against them.

Watch: Shreyas Iyer’s 202* run-knock here

Brief scores:

AUS 469/7 decl, 110/4 (36) (Steve Smith – 107, Shaun Marsh – 104)

IND A 403 (Shreyas Iyer – 202*)

Match drawn

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