Indian top-order gets quality batting practice on opening day
Leicester: The Indian top-order batsmen got much needed batting practice against a below-par Leicestershire attack as they finished the first day of their opening tour match at a comfortable 333 for four here Thursday.
As many as three batsmen went on to complete their half-centuries with comeback man Gautam Gambhir`s 54 being one of the notable contributions.
Shikhar Dhawan (60 retired), Cheteshwar Pujara (57 retired) were also among the runs as opener Murali Vijay (20) and batting mainstay Virat Kohli (29) were the ones to miss out on a scoring opportunity.
Rohit Sharma (43) entertained the India supporters with some classy strokes including the first six of the match while Ajinkya Rahane also did his cause no harm by notching up well-compiled unbeaten 47 as the duo added 74 runs in 20 overs.
The emphasis was on quality batting time. It seemed that each and every top-order batsmen was earmarked 100-odd deliveries and a chance to atleast get to 50-run mark.
Dhawan faced 100 balls and hit 12 fours while Gambhir had seven hits to the fence during his 101-ball knock.
Cheteshwar Pujara consumed 98 deliveries hitting eight fours in the process. All these players retired after reaching their individual half-centuries although Dhawan was hit in the right forearm by a rising delivery from seamer Atif Sheikh.
While the physio came out and Dhawan retired hurt, it was more to do with a precautionary measure ahead of the Test series.
Rohit has so far played 62 balls hitting five fours and big six off tweaker Rob Sayer while Rahane hit seven crisp boundaries in 77 balls.
The Leicestershire attack, which is languishing at the bottom of the county table, can at best be termed mediocre as none of the Indian batsmen were in any sort of trouble as they quietly went along with their batting practice.