Indians stutter to 162/4 on rain-hit 1st day of practice game

Canberra: Indian batting stuttered on a rain-marred opening day before Virat Kohli's half century took the visitors to 162 for four against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in a three-day practice match.

Of the 50 overs possible amid rain and gloom at the Manuka Oval, the visitors, after electing to bat, had their last remaining pair of recognised batsmen -- Kohli (55) and Rohit Sharma (38) -- at the crease.

The 78-run fifth wicket stand between the two had redeemed the situation somewhat for the Indians after losing the top order rather cheaply.

This is India's second and final practice game before the Test series against Australia starting December 26.

None of the four batsmen dismissed -- opener Virender Sehwag (12), Gautam Gambhir (24), Ajinkya Rahane (15) and VVS Laxman (15) -- managed to make an impression eye even though the home attack and the conditions were not overtly hostile.

Left-arm paceman Doug Bollinger alone was a bowler of reputation but it was the other bowlers who tested the nerves and technique of the Indians.

Virender Sehwag played at tall Peter George towards gully and was brilliantly held low to the ground by Alex Doolan at 20.

Gambhir and Rahane stayed put for the next 12 overs to push the score to 51 for one before a fresh spell of rain drove the players indoors.

The match later resumed for one over before the umpires considered the light not good enough for the play to continue, much to the frustration of the players.

Fortunately, the light improved and the game resumed but the Indians found themselves in a hole.

PTI

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