Wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat impressed with a 70 unbeaten run even as India’s top-tier failed to bat practice on the first day of their warm-up match against Leicestershire at Leicester on Thursday . India finished Day 1 on 246/8. Going to bat after winning the toss, India’s top guns went unshot as the visitors slipped to 81 for five. However, Bharat shone during his 158-minute stay in the middle before rain ended the day’s proceedings prematurely at Grace Road. In all, the 28-year-old Andhra batter hit eight fours and a six against 111 balls. At the stumps, Mohammed Shami gave company to Bharat on the 18th.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (21) exited after taking the start. The opening pair, who are expected to start India’s innings in the unique ‘fifth Test’, added 35 runs for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed by fast middle bowler Will Davis.
Indian first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who represented the English County side alongside Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna, kept the catch from Gill, who found the fence four times in 38 minutes.
For the addition of another 15 runs, India lost the wicket to Rohit, who hit three fours during his 64-minute stay in the middle. Rohit’s departure paved the way for the arrival of Virat Kohli, and the former India captain has sought to take responsibility for supporting India.
In between, Hanuma Vihari (3) came to bat at number three but left cheaply from the bowling of Roman Walker.
Shreyas Iyer failed to open his account and returned to the locker room after facing 11 balls, after slashing Prasidh through the hands of Pant.
Interestingly, Prasidh, who swung the ball prodigiously, received advice from Kohli just before Iyer was fired.
Versatile player Ravindra Jadeja also failed to make an impact as he was ruled lbw by Roman Walker’s bowler, who finished the day with impressive numbers of 5/24.
With five of their batters back in the hut, Kohli and wicketkeeper Bharat came together and added 57 runs to steady the ship.
However, Kohli, after hitting four boundaries and a six, fell to Walker. The 21-year-old tailor then fired Shardul Thakur (6) to complete his five-wicket run and reduce India to 148 for seven.
Fast pitcher Umesh Yadav contributed with 23 of 32 balls, hitting four boundary in the process.
The test match, postponed after being scrapped due to a COVID-19 outbreak last year, begins on July 1.
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