Chennai: Australian opener Ed Cowan, middle-order batsman Usman Khawaja and IPL‘s million-dollar man Glenn Maxwell will be eyeing to get some batting practice in their first two-day warm-up match against the Board President’s XI, here tomorrow.
In the absence of regular skipper Michael Clarke and his deputy Shane Watson, who will be arriving in the next couple of days, wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade will be leading the side. Since the full Australian squad is yet to assemble, the Aussies have exactly 11 players available right now and it will be the local association that will be providing them with substitute fielders.
“I did half a Shield game or whatever for the Vics (Victoria). Apart from that, that’s it,” Wade said. “The bigger guns aren’t here as yet, so we’ve only got 11 to pick from tomorrow.”
Since the match is a two-day affair, it is unlikely to get first-class status. The youngsters in the Board President’s XI squad, led by opener Abhinav Mukund, which has in-form Ambati Rayudu, talented Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh, all-rounder Parveez Rasool along with latest pace sensation Shami Ahmed, will get quality exposure against a top international side.
Practically, this is the third string Indian side as the second string India ‘A’ side, led by Gautam Gambhir, will be playing against Australia in the official first-class game from February 16.
While Rayudu, who is fresh from his hundred in the Irani Cup, will like to get a good score against quality fast bowlers like James Pattinson and Peter Siddle, the Aussie batsmen would pray that the likes of Cowan, Khawaja, Maxwell and Henriques get a chance to practice against spinners like offies Kamlesh and Rasool along with leg-spinner Sarabjit Ladda.
Maxwell, Henriques and Steve Smith will be competing for the all-rounder’s slot and this match might give a fair idea about what combination they would like to go with. The match will be played at the Guru Nanak College ground.
Australia: Matthew Wade (capt), Ed Cowan, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Steve Smith, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Ashton Agar.
Board President’s XI: Abhinav Mukund (capt), Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Parthiv Patel, Stuart Binny, Sarabjit Ladda, Parvez Rassol, Shami Ahmed, Parvinder Awana, Kamlesh Makwana.