Canberra: India today stumbled to an embarrassing one-day defeat just three days before the start of their first test against Australia. They lost by 164 runs to the Australian Prime Minister's XI, comprising mostly of upcoming players.
The PM's team smashed Indian bowlers to every part of Canberra's Manuka Oval as they ran up 334 for five and then dismissed the touring team for 170 in 44.4 overs. India were never in the hunt after losing their first three wickets for eight runs.
Only four of their batsmen made it to double figures. ''I don't know that we can take anything from this match,'' said Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar. ''I'm pretty disappointed not to have won but the real cricket starts now.
'"With Tendulkar deciding to rest his front-line pace bowlers ahead of the first test, the PM's batsmen tore into India's spinners and second-string seamers. Man of the match David Fitzgerald made 115 off 123 balls, Andrew Symonds smashed 101 off 90 deliveries and captain Shane Lee chipped in with an unbeaten 55 off just 38 balls.
Lee's younger brother Brett, who lost his place in the Australian team for the first test after being 12th man in the final match against Pakistan, then set about ripping through India's batting.