Wicket-keeper Srikar Bharat impressed with an unbeaten 70, even as India’s top order failed to get punch training on the first day of their warm-up game against Leicestershire in Leicester on Thursday. India ended Day 1 at 246/8. After winning the toss, India’s best guns were unable to fire as the visitors dropped to 81 for five. However, Bharat sparkled during his 158-minute stay in the middle before rain put an early end to the day’s work on Grace Road. In total, the 28-year-old batter from Andhra hit eight fours and a six while facing 111 balls. On stumps, Mohammed gave Shami Bharat company at 18.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (21) got out after a start. The opening duo, who will start India’s innings in the one-off ‘fifth Test’, added 35 runs for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed by fast medium bowler Will Davis.
India’s first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who represented England alongside Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna, held the catch from Gill, who found the fence four times and lasted 38 minutes.
For the addition of 15 more runs, India lost the wicket to Rohit, who hit three fours during his 64-minute stay in the middle. Rohit’s departure paved the way for the arrival of Virat Kohli, and the former India captain seemed to take responsibility for keeping India afloat.
In between, Hanuma Vihari (3) came in at number three but took off cheaply from Roman Walker’s bowling.
Failing to open his account, Shreyas Iyer made his way back to the locker room after seeing 11 balls after snatching Prasidh by the waiting hands of Pant.
Interestingly, Prasidh, who miraculously swung the ball, got some tips from Kohli just before Iyer’s sacking.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also failed to impress, as he was rated lbw on Roman Walker’s bowling, who finished the day with impressive marks of 5/24.
With five of their batters back in the hut, Kohli and wicketkeeper Bharat got together and added 57 runs to keep the ship steady.
However, Kohli, who had crossed four boundaries and a six, fell to Walker. The 21-year-old sailor then sacked Shardul Thakur (6) to complete his five-wicket-haul and reduce India to 148 for seven.
Swift strongman Umesh Yadav chipped in with 23 out of 32 balls, hitting four boundaries.
The test match, rescheduled after it was canceled last year due to a COVID-19 outbreak, will begin on July 1.
Topics mentioned in this article