India’s first game of 2016 saw them register a 74-run win over Western Australia XI in a Twenty20 warm-up match on Friday. Preparing for bigger battles ahead, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men will again take field against the same opposition in Perth on Saturday, this time in the 50-over format. Catch All Live Updates Here.
India’s Virat Kohli smashed 74 and shared a 149-run stand with Shikhar Dhawan against Western Australia XI in a Twenty20 match on Friday .
With the five match ODI series against world champions Australia starting on Monday at the same venue, these practice matches will be crucial for Indian players in acclimatising with the conditions Down Under. (India in Australia: After Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan Fireworks, Bowlers Seal Big Twenty20 Warm-up Win)
The good news for India is that two of their star batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli looked in perfect form after they hit 74 each in the practice match. The same cannot be said about opener Rohit Sharma, who fell cheaply at 6. (Highlights)
Even Rahane, the star of India’s win over South Africa in the Test Series at home, failed to replicate his form and could score only 2. Captain Dhoni hit a 14-ball 22 but at times he looked uncomfortable against the Western Australia XI bowlers.
Indian spinners too had their share of good show as Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel returned with identical figures of 2/13 each. But the real surprise was the performance of young left-arm medium pacer Barinder Sran who scalped 2/24. (India in Australia: Barinder Sran Looks to be a Good Prospect, Feels Shikhar Dhawan)
The effort earned the Punjab lad some high praise from Dhawan. “It was great boost for Beri, actually I call him by that name. It always nice to get two wickets (2/24). With time, he will get more matured as he gains experience. He is fit and strong. He looks to be a good prospect for India.”
Dhawan added that the “team got what it wanted” from the opening tour fixture.
“I am happy that I scored runs in a practice match. It gives me confidence. I got used to the pitch. More time that I spend at the wicket in the coming days, better it will be for me,” the Delhi left-hander said.
He was happy that the team got into a groove at the onset and he could share a 100-run stand with Virat Kohli.
“It was good to get into groove and get a 100 run partnership before main match. We got what needed from the practice match,” said Dhawan.
However, top bowlers like Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin could not get a single wicket and would like to change that on Saturday.
It will be interesting to see whether the Men in Blue decide in favour of trying out a a new combination in the 50-over format against Western Australia XI.