Whangarei: India's under-fire batting line-up gained valuable match practice yesterday as the tourists' two-day Test warm-up against a New Zealand XI ended in a draw.
Rohit Sharma plays a cut shot during Day Two of their warm-up match against NZ XI at Cobham Oval in Whangarei yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
India declared at 313 for seven on day two in response to the hosts' 262 for nine declared, with Ambati Rayudu unbeaten on 49 after Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane retired on 59 and 60 respectively.
R Ashwin also made a good start before Shawn Hicks bowled him for 46 in encouraging signs for an Indian line-up that failed to shine with the bat in a 4-0 one-day international series loss to the Black Caps.
The first of two Tests between New Zealand and India starts in Auckland on Thursday. Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma was satisfied with India's performance, claiming: "We got what we wanted from this practice game.
All the batsmen got in and made some runs which is a good sign before a Test series. We are ready and both the batsmen and the bowlers got what they wanted from this match. I am happy with how things went in the last two days."
Rohit had words of praise for young paceman Ishwar Pandey who took three wickets on Sunday. "Pandey bowled really well. Given the conditions, he stuck to his plans and he got rewarded with three wickets.
All the other three fast bowlers also did well. They did not get the wickets they wanted, but Pandey was the one who got really stuck there," said Rohit.
The Mumbai batsman felt it was important to rotate all his bowlers unlike the home XI, who gave their bowlers longer spells.
"If you look at their bowling analysis, they probably bowled 15 overs each, which is pretty good on Day One. We had to see all the fast bowlers who were in the squad. Everyone got what they needed to get in this game," he added.