Indian batsmen failed to make the most of their last opportunity ahead of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), slipping to 162 for four in the rain-affected second three-day warm-up game against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI at the Manuka Oval here Monday.
The match started two hours and 40 minutes late due to a heavy shower that almost prompted the Indian team to walk-out of their second warm-up game against the David Warner-led side.
It was only after some assurances from the chief curator Brad Van Dam that India coach Duncan Fletcher decided to go ahead with the match. Fletcher was seriously contemplating getting his team on the first plane out of Canberra as there was rain forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday as well.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and selected to bat - sans rested Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid and injured Ishant Sharma - but soon they were reduced to 84 for four in the first innings. Virat Kohli (55) and Rohit Sharma (38) were at the crease with their unbroken 78-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Gautam Gambhir (24), Virender Sehwag (12), Ajinkya Rahane (15) and V.V.S. Laxman (15) failed to capitalise on their starts.
Sehwag scored run-a-ball 12 before being caught by Alex Doolan off the bowling of Peter George. Gambhir was bowled by Jason Behrendorff, who was the most economical bowlers with figures of 1 for 8 in nine overs.
Reserve opener Rahane also failed for the second time in two innings, and he followed Gambhir soon in the pavilion as India were reduced to 53/3.
Laxman showed signs of repairing the innings and struck a couple of sweetly timed fours but was bowled by left-arm spinner Jon Holland while trying to work it to the leg side.
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