Australia get a taste of India

Chennai, Feb. 13 -- Australia got the first taste of spin on Tuesday and by the end of it, it had left a bitter taste in the mouth. The tourists had to contend with two spinners, not with the greatest of reputations, but even then Parvez Rassol and Sarabjit Ladda had enough fire in their armoury to trouble the Aussies.

On Day One of their two-day warm-up game against the Board President's XI, the Aussies - even though they were without four frontline batsmen - looked out of sorts and were bowled out for 241.

The wicket at the Guru Nanak College Ground wasn't a wild turner, but the visitors failed to apply themselves against some accurate bowling from the spinners. Much of their focus in the run-up to the first Test, starting on February 22, will be to get accustomed to spin bowling.

Rampant rassol

Tuesday presented an opportunity but their lack of confidence against spin was palpable as off-spinner Rassol ran through the line up with figures of 7-45 in 28.3 overs.

There was a conscious effort from the Australia batsmen to use the sweep shot and feet against the spinners -- two weapons they think will work for them on this trip.

Ed Cowan and Usman Khawaja began confidently against the pacers but once Board XI skipper Abhinav Mukund tossed the ball to the spinners, they seemed to lose the plot. Khawaja was only interested in sweeping the spinners, a couple of top edges off Rassol fell in vacant areas, but the third one off Ladda's fourth delivery landed straight into mid-wicket's hands.

Cowan looked the most assured of the lot, completing his half century before he edged Rassol behind the wicket. Stand-in skipper Matthew Wade and the rest showed little application as they slumped from 170/4 at tea. Former Australia batsmen Dean Jones had asked them to stick to the motto: "If you lose patience... you will lose the battle!," and the Aussies will have to emphasise on this now.

Cowan was happy with time spent in the middle and defended the approach of his team-mates. "It was almost as though the most dangerous shot was the forward defence. You had to find a way to get to the other end and get in a position to score runs. If you're propped on the crease defending, then you're playing into the spinners' hands. I think the guys who scored runs found a way to hit the ball, rather than just defend," he reasoned.

The left-hander, despite a decent record in 13 Tests, is uncertain of partnering David Warner at the top with Shane Watson's return from injury.

With Warner, Watson, Philip Hughes and skipper Michael Clarke not available for the match, the focus was on him and Cowan did no harm to his chances of playing in the first Test. "It didn't feel like I needed to seal the deal," said Cowan, asked if he is under pressure to seal the opening slot. "The talk is in the press and not in the changing room. I was happy that I could spend time at the crease."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

On-field action set to divert from off-field drama

On-field action set to divert from off-field drama

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Bench refuses to grant access to recordings of Srini and Dhoni’s depositions before Mudgal committee. More »

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

A fractured little finger could now throw the Delhi Daredevils captain out of action at the start of this season. More »

SMA Trophy gets short-changed

SMA Trophy gets short-changed

Key players are away preparing for the IPL, taking the shine off the other domestic T20 fixture. (CYCSPL) More »