IND vs AUS tour game: Five half centuries on one day!

Nov 30, 2018, 08:33 IST | Gaurav Joshi

India had their first outing against the red ball Down Under yesterday against an inexperienced Cricket Australia XI team at the Sydney Cricket Ground after rain washed out the opening day on Wednesday

IND vs AUS tour game: Five half centuries on one day!
India's Virat Kohli en route his 64 against CA XI at the SCG yesterday. Pic/PTI

Two batting spots are still up for grabs in the Indian playing XI for the first Test against Australia, according to assistant coach Sanjay Bangar. India had their first outing against the red ball Down Under yesterday against an inexperienced Cricket Australia XI team at the Sydney Cricket Ground after rain washed out the opening day on Wednesday.

The Indian batsmen were put into bat on a damp pitch and Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari enjoyed a promising outing by scoring half centuries and in the process, getting quality match practice. India were eventually dismissed for 358. A fine workout for the batsmen notwithstanding, there are some selection headaches ahead of the first Test. "We are looking at the opening slot as well as No. 6. Those are the positions we have still not decided," Bangar told reporters after play.

The only top-order batsman unable to get into double figures was KL Rahul. The elegant opener perished for three, trying to drive on the rise, only to spoon a catch to mid-off. It was a soft dismissal and another low score for the Karnataka opener.

This means he will be under severe pressure from Murali Vijay heading into the first Test. Vijay didn't bat yesterday, but is expected to open in the second innings with Rahul, a contest that could well decide who partners Shaw in Adelaide. "[Rahul] is looking good, but today he just drove a ball uppishly, especially in the first hour of the first session in which you would not expect an experienced opener to do," Bangar said.

The absence of Hardik Pandya means India are bound to play six batsmen which means Rohit Sharma or Hanuma Vihari will have to miss out. Vihari batted ahead of Rohit and registered a fine half-century, before being adjudged leg before to D'Arcy Short for 53.

Rohit batting at No. 7, looked in good touch and hit some glorious shots for his 40. But just when it seemed he could get a big score, the Mumbai batsman edged the second new ball straight to second slip. CA XI will resume their innings on 24 for no loss.

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