Sydney: Opener Murali Vijay smashed a scintillating century while KL Rahul well-supported him with a calm and composed fifty as India drew the lone warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday.
Vijay, who was recalled into the national Test squad after being dropped midway through the England tour, made a succesfull comeback as he notched up a 129-run knock off 118 balls, laced with 16 boundaries and five sixes. He also stitched a crucial partnership of 109 runs with his opening partner KL Rahul (62 runs off 98 balls) as India finished with a score of 211-2 in their second innings at stumps on day four.
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While Rahul's innings was decorated with eight boundaries and a six, Hanuma Vihari--who came to bat at number three-- remained unbeaten at 15 at stumps.
Earlier, resuming at Friday's score of 356 for six, England were bundled out for 544 in reply to India's first innings total of 358.
Harry Nielsen was the highest scorer for the home side for his 100-run knock, followed by Aaron Hardie (86), D'Arcy Short (74), Max Bryant (62) and Daniel Fallins (43). Meanwhile, Jake Carder (38), Sam Whiteman (35), Luke Robins (38) and Jackson Coleman (36) also made significant contributions.
The Indian bowlers were made to work hard against the young Australian outfit, with Indian skipper Virat Kohli also introducing himself into the attack during 87th over in order to break the strong 122-run partnership between Hardie and Nielsen. Kohli had,in fact, also called on Jasprit Bumrah (1-0) and Kuldeep Yadav (0-3), who were not initially named in the 14-man list at the start of the game, to bowl after lunch.
Mohammad Shami was the pick of the bowlers for India for his figures of three for 97. While Ravichandran Ashwin bagged just two wickets conceding 122 runs , Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma could only contribute with a wicket each.
The two sides will now head into the four-match Test series, beginning December 6 at the Adelaide Oval.