INDIA SHOW POSITIVE SIGNS IN TOUR OPENER
Date : 24-11-2014

Monday 24th November, 2014

By Davis Harrigan
Edited by Infinity Cricket

A young and inexperienced Australian XI faced up to India at Gliderol Stadium in Glenelg on Monday, for the visitors’ first hit out of the summer.

Captained by young Ashton Turner, the Cricket Australia XI faced a wobbly start, with Matthew Short caught behind on the very first ball he faced from Indian swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Turner joined other opener Ryan Carters in an attempt to steady the ship.
India's quicks were well assisted by the wind in the first session, however both Australians at the crease found a way to combat the bowling quickly. Mohammed Shami was the first to feel the force of Carters, who smashed the bowler to the square leg fence with a powerful pull shot.

Varun Aaron was able to break a 51-run stand by sending Turner back to the pavilion at 2/52, with keeper Wriddhaman Saha once again snaring the catch. Two balls later Nick Stevens suffered the same fate, bowled through the gate by a peach of a delivery that knocked back his middle stump.

The home side then steadied to reach 3/78 at lunch. India had a difficult time breaking the fourth wicket partnership. Carters and Kelvin Smith (40) put on 74 runs before Carters feathered one through to keeper Saha behind the stumps, with spinner Ravi Ashwin claiming his first scalp of the day. 

Carters and Smith found it much easier to score after lunch, with less swing on the ball and a pitch where the ball came through at good speed.

However another wicket fell relatively quickly afterwards with Alex Gregory fending off a fiery Varun Aaron short ball to Saha, who safely pouched the catch at 6/140. Aaron's pace had the ball whizzing around the batsmen's shoulders, including a couple of direct hits to the ribcage. The tourists are traditionally the target of chin music especially on these wickets, but here it was India’s bowlers making life uncomfortable for the locals. This may be another indication of Virat Kohli’s aggressive captaincy. 

Josh Lalor and David Moody took the score to 7/159 at tea. It was overcast after lunch, but an interruption-free afternoon had given the Indians a decent bowl on a hard wicket.
Leg spinner Karn Sharma (2/30) impressed with his flight and turn, getting David Moody trapped LBW for nought. Nineeten year-old left-hander Harry Nielsen didn't miss his chance to punch the Indians to all parts of the ground, smashing two identical cover drives off Aaron. A 52-run last wicket stand with Harry Conway (7*) propelled the CAXI to 219 all out, with Nielsen stumped off the bowling of Ashwin. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/32) and Varun Aaron (3/72) were India's best. Not to be outdone, Saha grabbed five catches and a stumping with the gloves justifying his place in the side in place of the injured MS Dhoni. 

Facing 17 overs before stumps, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay (32*) started with intent and meant business. Two crunching boundaries from each batsmen were ominous signs, before Dhawan was caught on the crease by Josh Lalor (1/15), nicking to Ashton Turner in the slips for 10. Vijay smashed David Moody for two boundaries in an over through the off-side, while Pujara hit a few of his own.

The Australian bowlers also found a bit of bounce and bite on the grassy pitch, but India finished up at 1/55 at stumps and look to bat all day on Tuesday. India will play one more two-day game, starting on Friday at the Adelaide Oval, against a stronger Australian side.