A listless Indian team failed in all departments of the game and was handed a five-wicket defeat by Australia in their second warm-up ahead of the ICC women’s World Cup, in Mumbai, on Tuesday.
India scored 222 for 8 after opting to bat. The Australians chased down the target of 223 runs in 37.3 overs, despite losing a wicket in the first over.
The Indian batters, led by Harmanpreet Kaur in the absence of Mithali Raj, started well, but soon struggled and lost wickets at regular intervals. Half the side was out for 116.
Raj had viral fever in the morning and rested. The team manager later said she is fine.
The opening pair of Poonam Raut and Thirushkamini Murugesan added 47 runs for the first wicket before the latter was caught behind off Aussie pacer Megan Schutt.
Raut then forged a 54-run stand with Mona Meshram for the second wicket. But the loss of Raut (31) and Meshram (25) in the space of two overs brought down the run-rate.
India suffered two quick blows when all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar dismissed Meshram and Karuna Jain with consecutive deliveries.
Reema Malhotra propped the innings along with Harmanpreet Kaur, wicketkeeper Sulkashana Naik and Amita Sharma, before No 8 Niranjana Nagrajan accelerated with a 26-ball unbeaten 35 to take the Indians to a respectable total.
Sthalekar was the chief tormentor, picking three wickets for 29 runs in her six overs.
Schutt snapped up two wickets, while Sarah Coyte, Renee Chappell and Holly Ferling one each.
The Australians lost opener Mag Lanning, but soon recovered from the blow and won comfortably with 11.3 overs overs to spare.
Skipper Jodie Fields retired after scoring a half century to give Erin Osborne batting practice. Fields scored 52 from 46 balls, striking seven fours, while wicketkeeper-batswoman Alysa Healy contributed an unbeaten 36.
Amita Sharma was the pick of the Indian bowlers, grabbing two wickets for 26 runs.
Spinners Rasnara Parvin and Gouhar Sultana got a wicket apiece, while medium pacer Niranjana Nagrajan claimed one.
The Indian team will undergo practice under lights for the first time on Wednesday, ahead of their first World Cup game against the West Indies on Thursday, which is a day-night encounter.
Indian team vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur said the side will bat first on the flat track against the West Indies at Brabourne stadium if they win the toss.
"We will try to bat," Harmanpreet told reporters after the practice match.
India 222-8 in 50 overs. (Niranjana Nagrajan 35, Reema Malhotra 35, Lisa Sthalekar 3-29).
Australia 223-5 in 37.3 overs (Jodie Feilds 52 retired, Alysa Healy 36 not out, Amita Sharma 2-26).