Canberra, Dec 16: The two-day tour opener at Canberra between India and Cricket Australia's Chairman XI ended in a draw as India posted 320/6 in their first innings at stumps on Day 2. Sachin Tendulkar's 92 was the highlight of the day as he was in punishing mood on the final day of the tour opener.
Indian batting was quite good, as three batsmen scored half centuries while Rahul Dravid fell 5 runs short of a fifty. VVS Laxman scored 57 while Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten on 56. Gautam Gambhir (35) Wriddhiman Saha (23*) played well. Gambhir got a good start but couldn't capitalise on that while Virat Kohli got out for 1 and the opener Ajinkya Rahane too did not sustain for long as he was dismissed after scoring 3 runs.
On Day One, Rahul Dravid put Chairman's XI to bat as Yadav reciprocated with a wicket in his first spell. The hosts were looking uncertain at 45/2, while Robinson and Cooper were on a mission to give the Chairman 's XI an edge over the tourists.
The hosts got good partnerships of 226 and 92 for the 3rd and 4th wickets respectively helping them post a bountiful score of 398/6 before declaring their innings.
Yadav impressed everyone with his bowling as he claimed 3 wickets while Pragyan Ojha too picked 2 wickets in the tour opener. Though the spinner with Vinay Kumar managed to get wickets, they both were on the receiving end as the batsmen played aggressive shots.
Though Indian bowlers struggled to restrict the Chairman's XI, as Cooper played an amazing knock remaining unbeaten on 182 and Robinson, who scored 143 on Day 1 as the hosts posted 398/6 before declaring their innings.
While another issue was the talk of the town yesterday as Ishant Sharma left the field after bowling just 5.3 overs. Ankle injury has kepy him out of play for the time being. The lanky pacer had picked an ankle strain during the third test against England
Moreover, Ishant has not been at his best off late and needs more time to work on his line and length. The team management should monitor his injury as there are no news about his recovery or whether he has completelty recovered from the ligament tear that he picked during the tour of England.
With the first practice match, India can take credit for batting display while a lot needs to be done to improve the bowling. Though Zaheer is due to play the second practice match, Ishant playing just 5.3 overs, the team managed to scrape through with a powerful batting display suggests that the team might go with R Ashwin, provided he performs well in the second tour match.
Cooper's amazing knock has impressed the selectors and due to a few injury woes, Australia selectors might give him a nod.
Brief Scores: Cricket Australia's XI: 398/6 decl (Robinson 143, Cooper 182*, Umesh Yadav 3/39)
India: 320/6 (Sachin Tendulkar 92, VVS Laxman 57, Rohit Sharma 56*, Rahul Dravid 45, Gambhir 35, Boyce 2/74)