India vs CA XI: Shaw Injured, Pacers Struggle on Day 3 of Warm-Up
A largely frustrating outing for most of the Indian bowlers was made worse for the team by batting sensation Prithvi Shaw's injury setback on the third day of the tour game against Cricket Australia XI at Sydney.
An inexperienced CA XI side finished day’s play on 356/6 in 102 overs in response to India’s 358. But more than the runs scored, it was Shaw’s ankle injury which left India aggrieved as he was ruled out of the next week’s opening Test at Adelaide.
Opener D’Arcy Short – the only CA XI player with international experience – top-scored for the hosts with a fast-paced 74, hitting 11 fours in a 91-ball stay at the crease. Max Bryant (62), Harry Nielsen (56 not out) and Aaron Hardie (69 not out) too made half-centuries.
Having had a satisfactory outing with the bat on Day 2 (in the words of assistant coach Sanjay Bangar), India made a poor start to proceedings on the third morning.
Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami were handed the new ball in a possible audition to decide the pecking order for the back-up fast-bowling options to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma, but the duo sprayed the ball around to concede at nearly six runs per over in the first hour of play.
Play was halted when Shaw injured himself in the 15th over, attempting a catch at deep mid-wicket. The 19-year-old tumbled after a juggling effort at the boundary as Bryan went for a six off the bowling of R Ashwin.
Shaw was carried off the field and taken to a local hospital for scans, which revealed lateral ligament damage to the left ankle.
On the field, Cricket Australia XI reached 178/2 at lunch. Ashwin bowled Bryant in the 19th over to break his 114-run opening stand with Short. The latter then gloved behind off Shami before the break.
India put in a better showing with the ball post lunch. Shami and Yadav both bowled improved second spells while Jake Carder (38) and Sam Whiteman (35) added 60 for the third wicket.
Shami came into his own with the older ball, picking two more wickets to end with figures of 3/67. Carder was bowled, while Jonathan Merlo (3) was caught behind before tea.
Ashwin though was India's best bowler on the day, at least in terms of control, finishing with figures of 1/63 in 24 overs.
Cricket Australia XI lost four wickets for 21 runs in the second session to reach the tea break at 246/6. Ashwin ran out Param Uppal for 5 runs, while Yadav (1/81) had Whiteman caught behind for 35.
Ishant Sharma (0/57) and Ravindra Jadeja (0/37) also bowled a couple of spells during the day, but didn't pose any major threats to the batsmen in the 27 overs they sent down.
Nielsen and Hardie defied India with a 122-run stand in the final session.
India tried a few other bowling options with Hanuma Vihari (0-33) bowling nine overs and skipper Virat Kohli (0-6) also turning his arm over.