CA XI vs India, Warm-up Match, Preview: Chance for the visitors to get hold of the conditions down under

Rohit Sharma and Hanuma Vihari will be in focus during this game.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India not playing or trimming their warm-up games on South African and England tours were termed to be one of the main reasons for their series losses. The team has obliged to the same and will be playing a four-day practice game against Cricket Australia XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Interestingly, the visitors have extended this encounter to four days from three which was the earlier schedule.

Team India seems to have learnt from the past experiences as some of their Test specialists also played a four-day game against New Zealand A in the similar conditions. Effectively, this will be their second match ahead of the much-awaited Test series and the world will have its eyes on them. They have a few decisions to take about their playing XI for the first game in Adelaide and this game should give more clarity to Virat Kohli and Co.

For the Cricket Australia XI players, this is a great opportunity to perform against the World number 1 Test team. With the mess their cricket is in at the moment, an extraordinary performance here, might bring them straight into the contention for the national side as well. Sam Whiteman will lead the side which is brimming with talent and literally have nothing to lose in such warm-up encounters.

Team Combinations

Cricket Australia XI

D’Arcy Short will open the innings along with Max Bryant with the skipper Sam Whiteman to be slated at number three. Most of the players in this team haven’t set the stage on fire in the ongoing season so far which might again spark the debate about the importance given to the warm-up games. Having said that, these players are very skilful and all 12 players will be in the action against the Indian side. The likes of Daniel Fallins, David Grant and Jonathan Merlo will test the opposition with the ball in hand.

CA XI squad: D’Arcy Short, Max Bryant, Sam Whiteman (c), Jake Carder, Harry Nielsen (wk), Param Uppal, Jonathan Merlo, Jackson Coleman, Harry Conway, Daniel Fallins, David Grant, Aaron Hardie.

India

India’s batting will definitely be tested. All of their batsmen will get an opportunity in the middle but in the order they will come, might give us an idea of their playing XI for the series opener. All the eyes will be on Murali Vijay, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul and performance in this game will determine their opening pair in Adelaide. There is also a toss-up between Rohit Sharma and Hanuma Vihari for the extra batsman slot.

In the bowling department as well, there will be a fight for the lone spinner slot which at the moment is likely to go to Ravindra Jadeja. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have got hold of the conditions by playing in the T20Is but this is the first game for Mohammad Shami, the experienced Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.

India squad:  Lokesh Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Hanuma Vihari, Parthiv Patel, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.

Focus will be on

D’Arcy Short (CA XI)

D’Arcy Short has always managed to set the stage on fire in the domestic arena. But the left-hander has never got going at the highest level. This is a chance for him to prove his critics wrong and must be confident to tackle the Indian bowling after facing the likes of Bumrah and Bhuvi in the T20Is.

Rohit Sharma (India)

Rohit Sharma is an unsolved puzzle in Test cricket for India. This might be the last chance for him to prove his mettle and as of now, it looks certain that he will be playing in the series opener in Adelaide. But for that to happen, he will have to spend some quality time in the crease in this match and then hope for the things to go his way in the four-match Test series.

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