Srikar Bharat impresses, top order fails in warm-up match against Leicestershire

Wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat was impressed with an unbeaten 70, even as India’s top-order failed to practice on the first day of their warm-up match against Leicestershire in Leicester on Thursday. India finished Day 1 on 246/8. Choosing to strike after winning the toss, India’s best cannons failed to fire as the visitors slipped to 81 for five. Bharat, however, shone during his 158-minute stay in the middle before rain brought an early end to the day’s proceedings at Grace Road. In total, the 28-year-old striker from Andhra hit eight fours and a six while hitting 111 balls. By stomping, Mohammed Shami Bharat gave company on 18.

Skipper Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (21) came out after they started. The opening duo, set to start India’s innings in the one-off ‘fifth Test’, added 35 runs for the first wicket before the latter was rejected by fast-medium bowler Will Davis.

India’s first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who represented the English county alongside Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna, clung to the catch of Gill, who found the gate four times while taking 38 minutes.

For the addition of another 15 runs, India lost the wicket of Rohit, who hit three fours during his 64-minute stay in the middle. Rohit’s departure paved the way for Virat Kohli’s arrival, and the former Indian captain sought to take on the duty to support India.

In between, Hanuma Vihari (3) came on to hit at number three, but got away cheaply from Roman Walker’s bowling.

Shreyas Iyer failed to open his account and returned to the locker room after hitting 11 balls after taking Prasidh into Pant’s waiting hands.

Remarkably, Prasidh, who waved the ball wonderfully, got some tips from Kohli just before Iyer’s dismissal.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also failed to make an impact, as he was rated lbw of Roman Walker’s bowling, which ended the day with impressive 5/24 figures.

With five of their hits back in the hut, Kohli and wicketkeeper Bharat came together and added 57 runs to stabilize the ship.

Kohli, however, after hitting four boundaries and a six, fell to Walker. The 21-year-old sailor then fired Shardul Thakur (6) to complete his five-wicket haul and reduce India to 148 for seven.

Promoted

Fast bowler Umesh Yadav chipped in with 23 off 32 balls, hitting four boundaries in the process.

The test match, rescheduled after it was abandoned due to an outbreak of COVID-19 last year, begins on July 1.

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