Leicester: Wicketkeeper Sreekar Bharat smashed an unbeaten 70 as India’s top-order failed to practice batting on the opening day of the warm-up match against Leicestershire here on Thursday.
Elected to bat after winning the toss, India’s top guns failed to fire as the visiting team posted 81 for five to reach 246 for eight at the end of the game.
Bharat shone during his 158-minute stay in the middle before the rain, ending the day’s proceedings at Grace Road early.
Overall, the 28-year-old Andhra batsman faced 111 balls and hit eight fours and a six. At the time of stump, Mohammed Shami was giving company to India for 18 runs.
Captain Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (21) were dismissed after starting. The opening pair, who are set to open India’s innings in the one-sided ‘Fifth Test’, put on 35 runs for the first wicket, the latter being dismissed by fast-medium bowler Will Davis.
India’s first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who was representing the English county team along with Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah and Pramukh Krishna, took the catch of Gill, who found the fence four times for 38 minutes.
To add another 15 runs, India lost the wicket of Rohit, who hit three boundaries during his 64 minute stay in the middle.
The departure of Rohit paved the way for the arrival of Virat Kohli and the former India captain took the responsibility of taking India forward.
In between, Hanuma Vihari (3) came to bat at number three but was dismissed cheaply by Roman Walker.
Shreyas Iyer failed to open his account and went back to the dressing room after facing 11 balls, leaving Prasid in the hands of Pant.
Interestingly, just before Iyer’s dismissal, the famous took some tips from Kohli, who got the ball to swing brilliantly.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also failed to make an impact as he was dismissed lbw off Roman Walker, who ended the day with impressive figures of 5/24.
With five of their batsmen back in the hut, Kohli and wicketkeeper Bharat came together and added 57 runs to steady the ship.
However, Kohli dropped Walker with four fours and a six. The 21-year-old seamer then completed his five-wicket haul by dismissing Shardul Thakur (6) to bundle India out for 148 for seven.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav scored 23 runs in 32 balls and hit four fours.
The Test match, which was rescheduled after being canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak last year, will begin on July 1.
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