India vs Australia 2020-21: Wriddhiman Saha back in fray as his unbeaten 54 helps India draw warm-up tie
This was India's first warm-up clash ahead of the four-Test series, starting December 17. India are the defending champions of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, as they had won it during their last visit, in 2018-19, which also happened to be their first Test series win in Australia.
Visitors India are getting back to the competitive mood, as they came up with aggressive performance in the three-day warm-up clash against Australia A, at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney. The match ended in a draw on Tuesday, while there were four Indian players, who were notable with their performance in the entire clash.
On Day 1, it was the Indians, who won the toss and batted first. They managed to post 247/9 on Day 2, thanks to Cheteshwar Pujara (54) and Ajinkya Rahane (117). As for the Australians, it was pacer James Pattinson, who claimed 3/58.
The Australians began Day 3 at the overnight score of 286/8. However, after 20 runs, Mark Steketee wad dismissed for mere 10 by pacer Mohammed Siraj, as all-rounder Cameron Green stayed unbeaten on 125, while the Australians declared. For the Indians, it was Siraj, along with fellow pacer Umesh Yadav, who claimed three each.
The second innings began on a shaky note for the Indians, as opener Prithvi Shaw departed for 19, at the score of 37, off Green. Pujara followed him, just nine runs later, who surprisingly fell for an unfortunate duck, to Michael Neser, while opener Shubman Gill fell for 29, at the score of 50, to Green.
It was then the pair of Hanuma Vihari and Rahane, who contributed to 54 runs, before the former departed for 28 to Nesser, followed by the latter for the same score, to Steketee. Although wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha ensured that he played a glaring unbeaten knock of 54, the other incoming batsmen could not do much and were dismissed for single figures, barring Umesh (11), as Steketee claimed 5/37.
Declaring on 189/9, the Australians did need more than 100 runs to win, with just barely 15 overs remaining. Although it was getable, the Indians used four bowlers, who ensured that it was not a cakewalk.
While opener Joe Burns was dismissed for an unfortunate duck by Umesh, it happened to be their only wicket during the innings. Meanwhile, fellow opener Will Pucovski had to retire hurt on 23, as Marcus Harris and Travis Head stayed unbeaten on 25 and two, respectively, while the game ended in a draw.
Brief scores: India 247/9 d & 189/9 d (Saha 54; Steketee 5/37) draw Australia 306/9 d & 52/1 (Harris 25; Umesh 1/14).
India take on Australia in the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) on Tuesday, at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), as they eye a 3-0 clean sweep. Following the T20Is, they would be playing another three-day warm-up, on December 11, at the SCG, before moving on to the opening Day-Night Test in Adelaide.