Australia vs India 2018: 3 Indians players who returned to form in the practice game
The grueling four-match Test series between hosts Australia and India will begin at the Adelaide Oval on Dember 6. Though Tim Paine's men will be without the services of two of their star batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, the Indians will be aware of the Aussies' Test domination at home.
India will be looking to win their first ever Test series in Australia with many of their players in great form especially skipper Kohli who is currently the highest run-getter of 2018 with 1063 runs.
Team India confronted the Cricket Australia XI in a one-off four-day practice game the SCG from November 28- December 1. The drawn game proved to be a much-needed match practice for the Indians whose batsmen made most of the opportunity.
The Cricket Australia XI players were absolutely sensational in all three departments giving the Indians a tough fight. let us now look at three Indian players who made much use of the practice-game to get back into the form before the Tests.
In 18 Test innings so far this year, Rahul has scored 420 runs at an average of 24.70 with his highest score being 149. The Karnataka batsman made just 30 runs in four innings against the Proteas during India's three-match Test series against Faf du Plessis's men earlier this year.
But he came back stronger after that forgettable Test series with a splendid display of batting in the 2018 IPL for Kings XI Punjab, after being bought for a whopping INR 11 crore at the season eleven auctions. Though Punjab failed to qualify for the playoffs, Rahul made 659 runs in 14 matches. In spite of scoring a half-century against Afghanistan (54 of 64) in the one-off Test match at Bengaluru, the Mangalore-born batsman looked out of sorts during the England tour.
Rahul, who played all the five Test matches failed with the bat on almost every occasion except the final innings of the fifth test at the Oval. Apart from scoring 149 off 224 balls, he shared a crucial partnership with Rishabh Pant that could have almost won the Test match for India in London.
Excluding that innings, Rahul scored 150 runs in nine innings during the five-match series which the hosts won 4-1. Failure in the two Tests against a pretty inexperienced West Indies side at home (37 runs in three innings) further exposed his poor outing with the bat.
After a poor outing in the T20 series against West Indies and Australia recently, there were many criticisms targeted at Rahul ahead of the Test series against the Aussies. But he brushed aside all those and came up with an excellent display of cricket in the second innings of the practice game against Cricket Australia XI scoring 62 off 98 balls that included eight fours and a six.
Though he failed in the first innings (3 off 18), Rahul finally found his touch ahead of the crucial Test series in the next innings. The drawn game served as a good match practice for Rahul who scored 633 runs in 14 innings for Team India last year. The 26-year-old will be brimming with confidence when he steps into the Adelaide Oval on December 6 after that knock at the SCG.