SYDNEY, Dec 7: Senior pros Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin staked strong claims to be included in India�s playing XI for the first Test with impressive performances against Australia A, which scored 286 for 8 on the second day, riding on Cameron Green�s unbeaten century. Australia now have a 39-run lead after India A declared their innings at 247 for 9 in the first hour of the second day, with skipper Ajinkya Rahane remaining unbeaten on 117.
With Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah being automatic choices, Umesh (18-3-44-3), fighting for third pacer�s slot, certainly looked more penetrative compared to Mohammed Siraj (19-4-71-2) with the new ball. The �Vidarbha Express� removed both rival Test team openers Will Pucovski (1) and Joe Burns (4) in his third and fourth over with the new ball to make initial inroads. Ashwin (19-2-58-2) also did his Test chances no harm as he reminded old timers of Australian off-spinner of 80�s Greg Mathews (hero of �Madras� tied Test) bowling with his cap on. Only that Mathews was protecting himself from Chennai heat while Ashwin was reluctant to give it to fellow fielders.
For Australia A, the giant all-rounder Green continued his rich vein of Sheffield Shield form with an unbeaten 114 off 173 that had 10 fours and a six.
He showed good temperament against the Indian attack while adding 104 runs for the sixth wicket with his national skipper Tim Paine (44) after being reduced to 98 for 5.
Another 49 for the eighth wicket with paceman Michael Neser (33) ensured that Australia A recovered well from a batting collapse.
India started well with the new ball as Umesh maintained a good channel outside off-stump as Pucovski trying to cut a back-of length delivery gave a simple catch to Shubman Gill at point.
India A 1st innings: 247 for 9 decl.
Australia A 1st Innings: Will Pucovski c Shubman Gill b Umesh 1, Joe Burns c W Saha b Umesh 4, Marcus Harris c Rahane b Ashwin 35, Travis Head b Siraj 18, Cameron Green batting 114, Nic Maddinson lbw b Ashwin 23, Tim Paine c Prithvi Shaw b Umesh 44, James Pattinson c W Saha b Siraj 3, Michael Neser run out (Siraj) 33, Mark Steketee batting 1. Extras: (B-2, LB-5, W-2, NB-1) 10. Total: (For 8 wickets in 85 overs) 286. Fall of wickets: 4-1, 5-2, 60-3, 68-4, 98-5, 202-6, 220-7, 269-8. Bowling: Umesh Yadav 18-3-44-3, Mohammed Siraj 19-4-71-2, Kartik Tyagi 9-1-51-0, Ravichandran Ashwin 19-2-58-2, Kuldeep Yadav 14-2-41-0, Hanuma Vihari 6-2-14-0. � PTI