India A v Australia A - Four-Day
Marsh, Head shine for Australia A
In final chance to impress ahead of Australia's next Test series, Mitch Marsh (86*) and Travis Head (68) lead the way against India A
8 September 2018, 08:50 PM AEST
Australia A captain Mitch Marsh played an encouraging hand, while Travis Head continued his late push for a maiden Test squad berth on the opening day of their second four-day match against India A in Alur.
But incumbent Test batsmen Matthew Renshaw and Peter Handscomb, as well as the in-form Marnus Labuschagne, all missed out ahead of next week's squad announcement for the upcoming series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Marsh steered the side out of danger with an unbeaten 86, combining with allrounder Michael Neser (44 not out) for a vital and unbroken 110-run partnership late in the day after the visitors earlier slumped to 6-180.
Australia A went to stumps on Saturday at 6-290.
Stumps on day one in Bengaluru with Australia A 6-290 against India A. Mitch Marsh (86*) and Michael Neser (44*) put on an unbeaten 110-run stand to close out the day, with Travis Head (68) and Kurtis Patterson (48) making earlier contributions. pic.twitter.com/KXmG0K5AYv— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 8, 2018
Head, batting at No.3, continued his fine 'A' tour with an accomplished knock of 68 against the spin-heavy Indian attack on Saturday,
The 24-year-old hit 10 fours in his 128-ball knock before being stumped off the bowling of Test wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav (2-68).
His half-century comes after scoring 87 against the same opposition earlier this week, while he also posted 110 against South Africa A in the one-day leg of the tour.
Contributions in this match will be keenly noted by national selectors, who are set to convene at the conclusion of this Australia A tour to pick the squad for next month's Pakistan Test series.
Marsh is considered one of the main contenders to be named Tim Paine's vice captain, with the allrounder set to resume bowling in this match after undergoing ankle surgery earlier this year.
Renshaw returned for his first match since suffering a minor hamstring complaint last month but was out for a duck, lasting seven balls before being bowled by paceman Rajneesh Gurbani (1-50) in the second over of the day.
Jon Holland, who took nine wickets in the first Aus A four-dayer but is sitting out the second one, rolls his arm over at lunch in Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/61JLBCPX3z— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 8, 2018
Fellow opener Kurtis Patterson struck 48 before both he and Handscomb (8) were out to left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem (2-64) late in a first session extended by 30 minutes due to the teams' catered lunch being stuck in Bengaluru traffic.
Head departed after the interval and was followed back by Labuschagne for a duck and Ashton Agar (23) to leave the visitors in a spot of bother, before Marsh and Neser steadied the innings.
Batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Jon Holland, Australia A's two standout performers from their 98-run victory over India A in their first match, were both left out of the XI to give Agar, Renshaw and leggie Mitchell Swepson a crack in the subcontinental conditions.
Wicketkeeper Alex Carey has flown home for the birth of his first child, with Handscomb taking the gloves for this match. Left-arm quick Joel Paris is not taking part due to back soreness.
Australia A: Renshaw, Patterson, Head, Handscomb (wk), M. Marsh (capt), Labuschagne, Agar, Nesar, Tremain, Swepson, Doggett, Holland (12th man)— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 8, 2018
India A: Samarth, Easwaran, Iyer (capt), Bawane, Gill, Bharat (wk), Chahar, Gowtham, Yadav, Nadeem, Gurbani, Panchal (12th man)— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) September 8, 2018
Australia A Tour of India
Australia A four-day squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain
Four-day fixtures in Vizag
2-5 September v India A
8-11 September v India A