Australia A completed a convincing 98-run victory over India A in a key unofficial Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Spinner Jon Holland sealed a telling performance with six wickets in the fourth innings, as the hosts slipped to an entirely insufficient 163 all out. Holland snared superb figures of nine for 170 in the match.
Left-armer Holland played two Tests against Sri Lanka in 2016, but wasn’t impressive enough to retain a berth beyond that series. Five wickets across the twin encounters, evidently, was not sufficient for the national selectors’ favour.
The fixture will largely be remembered for Holland’s solidity, alongside seamer Mohammad Siraj’s eight-for and batsman Usman Khawaja’s entertaining century. Australia and India’s Test selectors, indeed, were given plenty to ponder.
India’s Mayank Agarwal and Australia’s Travis Head, too, performed well. The former struck 47 and 80 and the latter 87. Both will admit an inability to commit to three figures, though.
There are middle-order concerns abound for the Aussies. The talented Peter Handscomb and Mitchell Marsh hardly improved on first-innings ducks, managing just eight and nine, respectively, in the second. Marsh is returning from injury, and this comeback was hardly helped by a second-innings run-out.
The teams will meet again, at the same venue, from 8-11 September. The series decider will present both with the opportunity to refine positives attained in the first match and demand improvement on the negatives.