Sydney, 5 December (IANS) After a month-long stay in Australia, India’s Test specialist players are scheduled to play a three-day warm-up match against Australia-A from Sunday and with that they will enter a long-term competitive game.
The match will be played at the Drummoyne Oval ground.
It is one of two practice matches. The second practice match will be played on 11 December.
Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Siraj are part of India’s Test team and have not played a single match in any format in Australia.
The vice-captain of India’s Test team, Rahane, is likely to captain the team.
On the other hand, the Australia-A team has its Test team captain Tim Paine, Joey Burns, Travis Head and James Pattinson.
This match will be very important for Pujara as he has not played any match since the Ranji Trophy final against Bengal in March. Pujara is the batsman who played a big role in beating Australia at home in the last round. This time also his role will become very important because Virat Kohli’s return to home after the first Test match will be responsible for the team’s batting.
Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and Saha will be seen struggling in this match to get a place in the final-11 in the Test team. All eyes will be on Shaw, who had a bad second half of the IPL. He will also try to return to the rhythm before the crucial series.
Ashwin also did well in the IPL but here he will have to do long spells which can prove challenging for him after long intervals.
The main issue for Australia will be the opening pair. His first Test match after David Warner was injured is doubtful. In this case, the team can field youngsters Will Pukowski and Joey Burns. This match can be a good chance for these two batsmen to understand each other.
AKU / JNS