Following a 1-1 finish in the limited-overs series (Australia won the ODIs, India won the T20Is), preparations are in full swing for the longest format, with the first Test between the two teams scheduled to begin in Adelaide on December 17.
While the Indian contingent are currently playing an Australia A team in the second practice match in Sydney, Australia's main players are gearing up with practice sessions that included an extensive centre-wicket session on Friday (December 11)
Sustained pressure from the Indian quicks and Australia A have been bowled out for 108. India lead by 86 runs.— BCCI (@BCCI) December 11, 2020
20 wickets have fallen on Day 1 of the pink ball tour game at SCG.
Shami - 3/29
Bumrah - 2/33
Siraj - 1/26
Saini - 3/19 pic.twitter.com/imsodze0eB
Australia A vs Indians in Sydney
There was plenty of help on offer for the bowlers with as many as 20 wickets going down in a day's play in the second practice match between Australia A and the Indians.
Indians were bowled out for 194 after choosing to bat first, and Aus-A finished on 108 at stumps. Earlier in the day, Shubman Gill scored a gritty 43 off 58 balls (6x4, 1x6) and Prithvi Shaw got 40 off 29 in an innings studded with eight boundaries before the middle order collapsed.
Three wickets each from Jack Wildermuth and Sean Abbott left the visitors tottering before a handy lower-order cameo from Jasprit Bumrah (55* off 57) helped them get to a respectable score.
After a bit of a rain break, Aus-A lost wickets in a heap, ending the day trailing by 86 runs. The Indian pacers wreaked havoc with a fiery spell of fast bowling (Shami 3/29 , Bumrah 2/33 , Siraj 1/26, Saini 3/19).
#AUSAvIND Score Update: India 194 all out.— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) December 11, 2020
Cameo from #Bumrah (55 off 57) and a solid 43 off 58 (6 fours, 1 six) from @RealShubmanGill the highlights in an otherwise low-scoring affair in Sydney.
📸- @BCCI pic.twitter.com/o1kQnQYUXH
Pat Cummins on his preparations ahead of the Test series:
Aussie spearhead Pat Cummins, who hasn't played long-form cricket in almost 12 months, spoke to the media about his preparations and expectations ahead of the marquee series.
Cummins last played a Test in New Zealand in January and did not feature in the Sheffield Shield season but the pacer is planning to simulate match scenarios in the lead up to the pink-ball Test to amp up his preparations.
"I think the good thing this time around is we have an eight or nine-day lead-in. Today, I plan to go out there and bowl eight overs or so simulating a Sheffield Shield match.
"But I don't see too much of a problem. I've been playing and bowling quite a bit, high-intensity, played 20 games or so in the last couple of months and it's just that slight tweak as we move into longer-form cricket.
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"I feel fresh, that week or so I had a home was great preparation. A good balance between downtime and doing little things I haven't been able to do over last few months but of course still training, build some strength up, preparing for this pretty long stint. If I could pick out the perfect preparation, think that was pretty close to it given all the circumstances."
Speaking on the kind of conditions he would like to see in Adelaide, Cummins said: "First of all, a fair balance between bat and ball. I don't think a Test match where a team can get 600 is good viewing for anyone, so hopefully a really fair contest."
"Obviously here in Australia we want the kind of conditions that reflect Australia, think the best Test matches are when there is pace and bounce in the wickets. Adelaide Oval has been a really good wicket each time I've played. So, a bit of pace and bounce and hopefully a bit of spin for Lyno [Nathan Lyon] too."