Rusty Indians made to suffer by familiar names

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The Independent Online

England fans could be forgiven for rubbing their eyes in disbelief when they noticed that Robinson and Broad were opening the batting for a Cricket Australia XI against the touring Indians in Canberra yesterday.

Of course, it was not the erstwhile Notts opening pair – Tim Robinson and Chris Broad – who helped England regain and then retain the Ashes in the mid-1980s. It was a pair of locals lads, Ryan Broad and Wes Robinson, the latter of whom cracked 143 as the tourists were smashed all around the Manuka Oval to the tune of 398 for 6 declared on the first day of their two-day tour match.

The other heavy scorer was Tom Cooper, who hammered 182... just like that. Born in New South Wales, the middle-order bat has played 18 one-day internationals for the Netherlands but the increasingly desperate Aussies are scratching around for any sort of batting talent.

The Indians looked decidedly ring rusty ahead of the first Test with Australia starting on Boxing Day, and paceman Ishant Sharma bowled just 5.3 overs as he complained of a mixture of jet leg, stiffness and an ankle niggle.