Left-armer troubles India batsmen

India have been a source of frustration for Mitchell Johnson in recent years.


Johnson missed their most recent tour of Australia due to injury, playing no part in the home side’s 4-0 thumping of 2011-12.

Johnson’s return to the top was then stalled by suspension in Mohali during 2013, with ‘homeworkgate’ ranking among his career low points.

But Thursday’s action at Glenelg Oval in Adelaide was a stark reminder of the potential bags of wickets on offer in the upcoming four-Test series.

India’s top order was trumped by NSW left-armer Josh Lalor in their final tune-up for next week’s rescheduled first Test at Adelaide Oval.

The visitors started the two-day game by restricting a Cricket Australia XI to a total of 243.

Varun Aaron and Mohammed Shami were both a handful, especially with the new ball as the hosts collapsed to 3-34.

But their efforts were undermined by an underwhelming response with the willow, India recovering from 2-36 to reach stumps at 2-99.

Shikhar Dhawan, one of two Indian batsmen denied a decent hit in last week’s fixture at the same venue, this time went for a golden duck.

Dhawan clipped a full ball from Lalor off his pads straight to Jonte Pattison.

Lalor then dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara in the 11th over, the No.3 batsman edging to first slip Ashton Turner for 22.

The next ball presented Turner with a more regulation chance.

If the CA XI captain held it, India would have slipped to 3-36 and stand-in skipper Virat Kohli’s innings would have amounted to one rash stroke.

He didn’t, but Kohli’s own words would have presumably been ringing in his ears when he walked off unbeaten on 30.

“You need a lot more patience compared to back home … you’ve got to pick the right balls to hit in the right areas,” Kohli said of batting in local conditions upon arrival in Adelaide.

“The guys need to realise that and play themselves in.”

Aaron and Shami, who snaffled a total of six wickets, were at least a source of early joy for the tourists.

“Both openers bowled with quite good pace. There was quite good carry in that wicket too,” said Jordan Silk, who scored 58.

“Shami’s short ball was quite quick and a few of our guys found it a little bit challenging.”

Injured India captain MS Dhoni is expected to arrive on Friday morning, but an India spokesperson said it was too early to say what his chances of playing the first Test are.