Kohli and Sharma steady India's innings

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Published: Monday, December 19, 2011, 11:19 [IST]
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Kohli and Sharma shine in tour match

Canberra, Dec 19: Riding high on Kohli and Rohit Sharma's knock, India manage to score 162/4 at Stumps on Day 1. The duo added flavor to the rain hit day as they have piled up 78 runs for the 5th wicket.

After losing a few wickets on a wet day visitors managed to get to a decent score on a day which was affected by rain as it allowed only 50 overs to be bowled on Day One of the three-day practice match against Chairman's XI on Monday.

When it looked like Laxman and Kohli are going to make use of this opportunity and score big, VVS Laxman fell after scoring just 15 runs, as Virat Kohli (55*) and Rohit Sharma (38*) ensured that they are going to capitalize on the opportunity and score big in the practice match.

Rahane fell in the first over after resuming play at 51/1 after 17 overs, while Gambhir followed suit in a few overs. Virat Kohli and Laxman both are aiming to build the partnership as they tend to score big ahead of the test series against Australia later this month.

Earlier in the day, India won the toss and elected to bat, lost opener Virender Sehwag (12) early on Day one as he guided Peter George into gully giving Alex Doolan a smart low catch.

Gautam Gambhir (24) and Ajinkya Rahane (15) held firm at the two ends though the former has more than one moment of discomfort against a decent home attack of Doug Bollinger and Peter George.

After a successful partnership of 32 runs, Rahane was dismissed by Lalor for 15, while Gambhir was dismissed by Behrendorff a few overs later. Definitely not a fine innings so far as Gambhir has struggled to score runs, missed quite a few times and was even rapped on his fingers once, by fast bowler Jason Behrendorff which needed treatment from the dressing room.

This being India's last practice game before the tour opener against Australia starting from December 26, the match was scheduled to start at 1100 hrs (local time) but due to a soggy outfield following overnight rain, the start was delayed until lunch. All eyes will be on pace spearhead Zaheer Khan as has returned to the Indian squad after a five month injury lay off.

Indians are not playing Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Vinay Kumar and Ishant Sharma in the three day practice match against Chairman's XI.

It remains to be an open-ended fixture as 13 members are turning up for both sides. While Indians are keen to test themselves before the first Test, the hosts have quite a few Test regulars and hopefuls trying to steel up for future engagements.

The big names in the Chairman's XI include skipper David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Philip Hughes and Doug Bollinger.

Play started late on Day One and after playing just 16 overs, fresh spells of rain, forced players to stay indoors. Though there were a few glimpses of resuming play as the covers were off the field, but after an over after tea, match was stopped again due to bad light before resuming again in the last session.

With more than half a day lost it remains to be seen if Indian players get a chance to spend some time at the crease ahead of the opening test against Australia on Dec 26.

Brief Scores:

India: 162/4 after 50 overs ; Virat Kohli (55*) Rohit Sharma (38*) Gautam Gambhir (24) Ajinkya Rahana (15) VVS Laxman (15) Virender Sehwag (12)

Cricket Australia's Chairman XI
: Peter George 1/42, Holland 1/37, Jason Behrendorff 1/8, Lalor 1/9


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