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2nd warm-up game ends in a draw after Australians forced to follow-on

Press Trust of India
Feb 19, 2013 at 08:16am IST

Chennai: Australian batsmen's woes against spinners were exposed once again as India A's unfancied duo of left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurv and off-spinner Jalaj Saxena excelled with an impressive display, forcing the visitors to follow on before the warm-up match ended in a draw here on Monday.

Gujarat's Dhurv grabbed 5 for 51, while Madhya Pradesh allrounder Saxena took 4 for 61 to dismiss Australia for 235 in their first innings in reply to India A's total of 451.

With 216-run deficit, India A skipper Gautam Gambhir enforced follow-on and Australian did a shade better in their second essay by finishing on 195 for three at the Guru Nanak College ground.

2nd warm-up game ends in draw after Australians forced to follow-on

After losing 11 of their 13 wickets against spinners, Australia have plenty to think before they take on India in the first Test.

In all, it was a moral victory for the India A side as they exposed the chinks in the Aussie armoury. Against Board President's XI in their first warm-up game, the Aussies were bowled out for 241. In two successive matches, their batsmen failed to post a total in excess of 250.

If Perveez Rassol sowed the seeds of doubts in the Aussie minds about their inability to tackle spinners in the first game, Dhurv and Saxena's performance will certainly compound their worries and at the same time encourage Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha to go all out against Michael Clarke's men in the first Test.

The Aussies started the day at 131 for 4 and the overnight batsmen Matthew Wade (44) and Moises Henriques (33) took the score to 176 with a 49-run fifth wicket stand.

Both were trying to hit their way out of trouble, especially Henriques, who hit two fours and three sixes in his 41-ball knock before he padded an arm ball from the left-arm spinner Dhurv which started the slide.

For 31-year-old Dhurv, who is a veteran of 75 first-class matches and is not a contender for the national side, this performance will certainly be the most memorable one of his career.

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