Gambhir leads India A with hundred


SCORE: India A 338 for 4 (Gambhir 112, Rohit 77, Tiwary 77*, Doherty 3-69) v Australians

Australia’s bowlers were made to toil for wickets on the opening day of their second warm-up match against India A in Chennai. After deciding to bat, India A were led by their captain Gautam Gambhir, who struck a hundred only days after being dropped for the first two Tests against Australia. It was his first first-class hundred since his 116 against Bangladesh in January 2010.

He was accompanied by Jiwanjot Singh in an opening partnership of 67 before Jiwanjot edged Xavier Doherty to Shane Watson at first slip. Gambhir was going strong and brought up his half-century with two consecutive sixes off left-arm spinner Ashton Agar. His innings also ended with a catch to Watson, giving Moises Henriques his only wicket for the day.

Rohit Sharma, also eyeing a place in the Test squad, struck form with a half-century that included eight fours and three sixes. Rohit and Abhishek Nayar were dismissed in consecutive overs from Doherty, the only Australian bowler to show any signs of success against the Indian batsmen.

India A were 272 for 4 and Manoj Tiwary and CM Gautam put on 66 and batted until stumps. Tiwary was unbeaten on 77 and Gautam on 34. Tiwary’s innings was competition to Rohit’s half-century as the two are on the fringes of the India Test squad.

Opening bowlers Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle bowled 30 overs together, including nine maidens, but failed to pick any wickets. Spinners Nathan Lyon and Agar were expensive in their spells, Lyon conceding 97 in his 20 overs and Agar conceding 78 runs at six runs per over.