It was not as convincing, but India picked up their second win in as many days against Western Australia XI at the WACA to ensure they go into the first ODI against Australia on Tuesday in confident mood.
After thumping WA XI in the T20 on Friday, the Indians struggled to assert themselves with the bat in this 50-over encounter, managing just 249. However, the bowlers stepped up to the plate for the second straight match, bowling Western Australia out for 185 in 49.2 overs to give India a 64-run victory.
Choosing to bat first after winning the toss, MS Dhoni would have looked to his top three again to set a solid platform for the still-far-from-convincing middle order, but Drew Porter (9.1-0-37-5) had other ideas, picking up both Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, the two batsmen who scored identical 74s in the T20 warm-up game on Friday, before finishing with an impressive five-for. Dhawan sliced one to point, while Kohli was given out lbw, leaving India on 19/2 midway through the sixth over.
Rohit Sharma (67, 82b, 6x4, 3x6), who unnecessarily threw his wicket away in the T20 practice match, and Ajinkya Rahane (41, 53b, 3x4) came together and stitched an 88-run partnership for the third wicket.
While neither could really carry on and post a big score, that partnership was what the Indians required if they were to get to a desirable total in the end. However, a couple of quick wickets and an iffy MS Dhoni innings meant Western Australia were right on top heading into the final ten overs.
Manish Pandey, though, rescued India, showing maturity and ability to score a well-manufactured 58 (59b, 3x4) to take India to that decent total.
Western Australia struggled in the chase on Friday, and this time around it was no different, with the Indians, without Ishant Sharma who had a finger injury, picking up wickets at regular intervals – WA's biggest partnership was 39. India's semifinal run in the World Cup in Australia last year was built on solid bowling, and these two matches, albeit against below-par opposition, have shown they are capable of doing it again, even after receiving the big blow of Mohammed Shami being ruled out of the tour.
Australia will be much bigger nuts to crack, but India have the potency with the ball to slice through.