Shreyas Iyer double ton helps India A draw warm-up match against Australia
Shreyas Iyer notched up 202*, his highest score in first-class cricket as India A drew the warm-up match in Mumbai against Australia.cricket Updated: Feb 19, 2017 16:34 IST
Australia drew their three-day tour game against India A at Brabourne Stadium on Sunday, but there are some concerns that will leave skipper Steven Smith worried going into the Test series from February 23. (UPDATES)
Australia ended their second innings at 110 for four after both skippers mutually decided to call off the play.
The biggest point to ponder for the Australian team management was the ruthless manner in which India’s domestic batsmen Shreyas Iyer, who slammed his highest first-class score of unbeaten 202 and second consecutive ton after the Bangladesh tour match, and K Gowtham (74 off 68 balls) decimated the Australian spinners Nathan Lyon and Stephen O Keefe.
Although Lyon claimed four wickets for 162 and O Keefe took three for 101, the hammering Australia’s frontline spinners received were not encouraging signs for Australia ahead of the Test series.
It also gives further impetus to coach Darren Lehmann’s assessment that bowling is Australia’s biggest concern than its batting.
After O’ Keefe and Mitchell Marsh claimed the wickets of Rishabh Pant (21) and Ishan Kishan (4) within a span of 19 balls in the first session, it was Iyer and Gowtham’s show as India A added 171 runs in 32 overs to their overnight score of 176 for four till lunch break.
Frustration was looming large on Lyon’s face after Iyer slammed two boundaries off his over. He kicked the turf after the second boundary went past the gully fielder for a boundary. His first spell ended with 24 runs from four overs.
His second spell was no different either where he conceded 57 runs in six overs. Iyer took 16 runs in the first over after he was brought back into the attack. Iyer slammed his fifth six of the innings with the ball sailing over the midwicket. He then deployed the late cuts for two boundaries.
It wasn’t just Iyer, who was dominating Lyon. Gowtham, who missed almost two days play after suffering a hamstring injury on the first day, was equally brutal against Lyon. He smashed three towering sixes — two over long on and a straight down the bowler’s head as his batting was a revelation.
As far as boundaries were concerned, Iyer and Gowtham hardly required any efforts it seemed. Iyer slammed 20 boundaries and two sixes in 117 balls that he faced on Sunday.
The Aussies came back strongly in the post lunch session to claim the remaining four wickets to bundle out India A for 403 in just 8.5 overs to take 56-run lead.
Four overs into the second session, Stephen O Keefe clean bowled a limping K Gowtham for 74 which came in just 68 balls. Gowtham’s wicket ended the 138-run seventh wicket partnership in which witnessed some lusty blows were witnessed. Next ball it was Shahbaz Nadeem, who was trapped in front of the stumps. Lyon then removed Ashoke Dinda for two to claim his third wicket.
Iyer, who seemed to be suffering with cramps as he closed in on his double ton, took on O Keefe as he raced to his double century with three consecutive boundaries and a six to take 18 runs off the over.
However, it is not the first time that Lyon has been hammered in pre-tour practice games. He went for 136 runs in 22 overs against Essex before 2015 Ashes and 0/72 from 13 overs in a warm-up match against Sri Lanka last year. On both tours, he came out good during the series.