Virat Kohli 50 lights up rain hit day at Canberra
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli was unbeaten on 55 as India reached 162/4 by Stumps on Day 1 of their practice match against the Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Play began two hours late due to a wet outfield and India soon lost Virender Sehwag for just 12 after having chosen to bat first. The game is their second and final tour game before they play the first Test at Melbourne on Boxing Day.
Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane stuck around to take the score to 51/1 before rain interrupted play again. The batsmen were both dismissed soon when play resumed, leaving India reeling at 55/3. Rahane was caught in the slips off Josh Lalor after edging a wide one that he chased; Gambhir’s unsure looking innings ended when he was bowled by Jason Behrendorff, reading the line wrong.
VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli set about rebuilding the innings. Laxman played and timed a few shots in his exquisite style but was dismissed for 15 leaving India’s score at 84/4. India survived another scare when Rohit Sharma was dropped at short leg off the very first ball he faced.
Kohli responded with positive cricket, keeping his defence compact but scoring off the bad balls that came his way. He reached his half century towards the close of play, in the second last over of the day, ending at 55* off 93 balls with ten 4s.
Rohit Sharma too playing confidently by then, driving imperiously through the covers though he was lucky to be dropped a second time, this time in the slips to remain unbeaten on 38.
13 players from each side will be playing in the match. India have rested Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Vinay Kumar and Ishant Sharma from their squad. The CA Chairman’s XI includes players such as the Dutchman Tom Cooper who struck 182* against India in the first tour game and Australians such as David Warner, Doug Bollinger, Peter George, Usman Khawaja, Philip Hughes and Ed Cowan.