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Sep 17, 2019-Tuesday



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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

India vs Australia: KL Rahul dents own chance of making XI for first Test in Adelaide

Skipper Virat Kohli led the show as KL Rahul was the lone top-order batsman who failed to score runs against Cricket Australia XI on Thursday.

cricket Updated: Nov 30, 2018 10:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of KL Rahul
File image of KL Rahul(REUTERS)

India opener KL Rahul’s woeful form continued as he was the lone failure in the Indian top-order as the visitors fought it out on the second day of the four-day game against Cricket Australia XI in Sydney on Thursday. Opening the batting with young Prithvi Shaw, Rahul managed to score just 3 before he was dismissed by Jackson Coleman. The struggle in the middle lasted for 18 balls before he walked back to the pavilion.

The rest of the top and middle-order batsmen all made runs with skipper Virat Kohli making his intentions very clear as he warmed up for the opening Test of the series against Australia with an impressive fifty. With Cricket Australia XI winning the toss and deciding to field, it was the perfect opportunity for the Indian batsmen to adapt to the conditions. The overhead cloud cover further ensured that the batsmen got a good taste of what is expected to be a grueling challenge from the Australian pace attack in the four-match series.

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Kohli looked in fine flow as he had the drives and flicks coming from the middle of the bat and the otherwise cautious batsman even sent one over the ropes as his 87-ball knock of 64 consisted of seven boundaries and a six. This will be good news for the team as the skipper needs to lead from the front if India are to win their first series in Australia.

All the other top-order batsmen also pitched in with Shaw hitting a fluent 69-ball 66, Cheteshwar Pujara hitting a patient 89-ball 54, Hanuma Vihari hitting a cautious 88-ball 53 and deputy Ajinkya Rahane scoring 56 off 123 balls before retiring not out. Even Rohit Sharma showed his love for the Australian pitches as he hit a fluent 40 off 55 balls. Murali Vijay is the only top-order batsman who did not get his chance in the middle as the management decided to send in Rishabh Pant and R Ashwin after Rohit was dismissed and Rahane retired.

Earlier former India opener and captain Sunil Gavaskar had said that he wanted Shaw and Murali Vijay to open in the first Test as that would be the perfect combination with Shaw taking on the bowlers and Vijay holding one end up.

The opening day of the game was washed off as incessant rain kept the players away. It started raining in Sydney on Tuesday night and after a deluge through the day, the ground was soaking wet. There was a brief stoppage in rain at 1 pm local time and the grounds men worked hard to get the pitch and outfield ready. Toss was scheduled for 3.30pm local time with play to commence at 4 pm. But play was abandoned for the day at 3 pm local time, with half an hour extension from day two onwards.

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 11:22 IST