Steven Smith in action during his innings of 107 not out © AFP
Steven Smith in action during his innings of 107 not out © AFP

Steven Smith and Shaun Marsh slammed centuries to help Australia make a positive start to their India tour, on the first day of their opening match against India A at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. Australia were 327 for 5 at stumps on Day One in their 90 overs, with most of their batsmen getting off to crucial starts. For India A, Navdeep Saini began with a two-wicket burst in his first spell, but that remained the only bright spot for the hosts who were milked for runs on the first day. Hardik Pandya, the India A captain, claimed the third wicket as the two centurions from Australia had retired out. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: India A vs Australia, tour match Day 1 at Mumbai

It was a tough day for the India A bowlers. The highest-wicket taker of the Ranji Trophy, Shahbaz Nadeem gave away 90 runs in his 23 overs. Ashok Dinda bowled one maiden out of his 15.2 overs but did not get any wicket. Saini, who had claimed the wickets of Australian openers David Warner and Matthew Renshaw in the first session, returned with the figures of 12.4-4-27-2. Pandya bowled 17 overs for 1 maiden and gave away 64 runs. However, Pandya was successful in getting the third wicket of the innings when he had Peter Handscomb caught by Priyank Kirit Panchal.

In the hindsight, Australia will be pleased with their effort. Warner began with a flurry of wickets and cracked 4 boundaries early on to help Australia race to 30 for no loss in first 5 overs. However, Saini had Warner caught behind in the 11th over, and in the 19th over of the innings he was able to take one more wicket. Both the Australian openers were caught behind off Saini, with Ishan Kishan completing the dismissals.

Smith faced 161 balls and cracked 12 boundaries and 1 six to score 107 not out. He came out to bat early in the first session and retired out after the tea break was over. Smith and Shaun Marsh added 156 runs for the third wicket to keep India A at bay throughout the second session, and provided Australia a strong batting show.

Shaun Marsh was selected ahead of Usman Khawaja for this tour match. Interestingly, he came out to bat at Smith’s position and the Australian captain came out at No. 3. Shaun Marsh utilised the opportunity to his advantage, hammering a century to make a strong case for selection in the first Test against India, which begins on February 23.

Shaun Marsh retired out after he completed his century, walking off after scoring 104 not out 173 balls with the help of 11 boundaries and 1 six. His retiring out brought out his brother Mitchell Marsh at the crease, who remained unbeaten on 16 off 43 balls with the help of 3 boundaries.

At stumps, Mitchell Marsh was batting with Matthew Wade, who was in action for the first time since the ODI series against Pakistan. Wade reached 7 not out off 28 balls with 1 boundary.

Earlier in the innings, Warner and Renshaw missed out on the opportunity of scoring crucial runs ahead of the Test series. Warner fell first, having struck 4 boundaries to score 25 off 30 balls. Renshaw hung around with his captain for a while, but could not do much and was dismissed for a 41-ball 11.

Brief scores:

Australia 327 for 5 (Steven Smith 107 retd out, Shaun Marsh 104 retd out, Peter Handscomb 45; Navdeep Saini 2 for 27) vs India A.