Steve Smith’s Australia threw a warning at India ahead of the limited-overs series with a comprehensive 103-run victory over the BCCI Board President’s XI in their only warm-up game at Chennai on Tuesday.
Smith won the toss and had no hesitation in opting to bat on a flat and dry Chennai wicket. His decision was vindicated by the batsmen as the visitors put up an imposing score of 347-7 in their 50 overs.
David Warner and Hilton Cartwright opened the batting for the Australians and the former looked in imperious touch after his exemplary performances in the recently concluded tour of Bangladesh.
The left-hander struck 11 boundaries in his 48-ball 64 before being dismissed by Kushang Patel. His partner Cartwright did not have the best of introductions to India as he was dismissed for a duck by pacer Avesh Khan.
Smith was looking solid in his circumspect innings of 55 off 68 deliveries before he fell to promising young spinner Washington Sundar. On the other end, Travis Head looked fluent as he smashed five boundaries and a massive six before being dismissed for 65 runs.
Glen Maxwell, who received the biggest cheer from the local crowd when walking in to bat, failed to make the most of the conditions on offer as he fell for just 14 to become the second victim of Sundar.
It was all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and wicket-keeper Matthew Wade who provided the fireworks for Australia in the death-overs.
Australia smashed 347/7 in 50 overs in warmup game against India Board President XI and remember this name Marcus Stoinis..
— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) September 12, 2017
The pair laid down a solid case for the number six and seven batting-order slots as their counter-attack took the Aussies well beyond the 300 mark. Stoinis was particularly destructive as he hit five towering sixes and four boundaries in his 60-ball 76 before falling in the penultimate over.
Wade was equally punishing on the bowlers as he smashed an unbeaten 45 off just 24 deliveries which included five maximums.
In reply the President’s XI could never get going as none of the batsmen failed to make the most of their starts. Young left-arm spinner Ashton Agar was impressive for the visitors as he picked up four wickets to help Australia bowl out the hosts for 244 runs in the 49th over.
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) September 12, 2017
Opener Shreevats Goswami top scored for the President’s XI with 43 runs before being bowled by Stoinis. Pacer Kane Richardson picked up two wickets as Adam Zampa, James Faulkner and Stoinis shared one-wicket apiece, while Nathan-Coulter Nile and Pat Cummins went wicketless.
The Aussies will now take on Virat Kohli’s India in the first of the five-match ODI series starting on Sunday at the same venue.
That 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup winner Danielle Wyatt’s huge admiration for Virat Kohli is no secret.
Wyatt had raised eyebrows back in 2014 after she posted a tweet asking the Indian skipper to marry her following his stunning performances at the ICC World Cup T20.
The England all-rounder got the chance to meet her idol briefly on the sidelines of the World T20 where the Indian batting supremo gifted her a cricket bat.
The 26-year-old took to Twitter on Monday to display her special gift but what caught the eye of cricket enthusiasts was the way Wyatt had spelled Kohli’s name.
— Danielle Wyatt (@Danni_Wyatt) September 10, 2017
Wyatt wrote “Back training this week. Can’t wait to use this beast. Thanks @imVkohli #ping #middlesbiggerthanme.”
The Stoke native had inscribed the Indian superstar’s name at the base of the bat but spelled his surname as ‘Kholi’.
The legions of Indian cricket fans on social media wasted no time in pointing out the gaffe to Wyatt.
Kholi marry me!!!
— Danielle Wyatt (@Danni_Wyatt) April 4, 2014
While the spelling mistake was embarrassing for someone who is supposed to adore Kohli, the fans did manage to see the funny side of the incident.
Wyatt has played 53 ODI’s and 70 T20I’s for the English Eves though she is yet to make her mark in the Test arena.
She was an integral member of the side which captured the Women’s World Cup earlier this year on home soil.
Wyatt and co had beaten the Mithali Raj-led Indian side in an exciting final at Lord’s.
Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, the world’s leading all-rounder, had requested a six-month break from Test cricket ahead of the upcoming tour of South Africa, the country’s board said on Monday.
Bangladesh are likely to name their squad later on Monday for the South Africa tour comprising of two Tests, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games, starting on September 28.
“Shakib has handed a letter to the board, seeking a break from Test cricket,” Bangladesh cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus told AFP.
“He said he will be available for other formats during this period but he needed this break from Test cricket to refresh his body.
“We haven’t yet made any decision regarding his request. BCB president (Nazmul Hasan) will make the final decision.”
The BCB has now accepted the all-rounder’s request though he hasn’t been granted a six-month break as desired.
Shakib has been granted exemption from Bangladesh’s tour of South Africa starting later this month but the Board have kept the option open for the star man to rejoin the squad for the second Test if he so desires.
— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) September 11, 2017
The left-hander has been omitted from Bangladesh’s 15-man squad for South Africa which was announced by the BCB on Monday.
Shakib starred in Bangladesh’s maiden Test win over Australia last month, claiming 10 wickets and scoring 84 runs.
The 30-year-old has played every Test for Bangladesh since missing two games against the West Indies in 2014 because of suspension.
His request for the Test break comes amid concerns over player fatigue, as well as criticism that players are prioritising earning money over representing their countries.
He is the first Bangladesh player to miss a Test voluntarily in their cricketing history.
Shakib is a regular at franchise-based Twenty20 tournaments around the world, and earned $712,000 from four Twenty20 competitions in 2016, according to Bangladesh’s Daily Star.