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PHOTOS: Kohli strikes 50 to rally Indians on rain-marred day

Last updated on: December 19, 2011 17:16 IST

PHOTOS: Kohli strikes 50 to rally Indians on rain-marred day

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India's batting stuttered on a rain-marred opening day before Virat Kohli's half century took the visitors to 162 for 4 against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in the three-day practice match, at the Manuka Oval, in Canberra, on Monday.

- Indians pegged back by CA XI on rain-marred opening day

- India threatened to abandon practice match over wet conditions

Electing to bat, the Indians lost the top order quickly and were in trouble, until Kohli and Rohit Sharma put on a 78-run partnership to salvage the situation.

Of the 50 overs possible in the day, the Indians' last recognised batting pair -- Kohli (55) and Rohit Sharma (38) -- put on the 78-run stand to redeem themselves.

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


Image: Virat Kohli in action against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI
Photographs: Getty Images

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Rain halts play after Sehwag's dismissal

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None of the four batsmen dismissed -- opener Virender Sehwag (12), Gautam Gambhir (24), Ajinkya Rahane (15) and VVS Laxman (15) -- could make an impression.

Left-arm pacer Doug Bollinger was the only bowler of reputation, but it was the other bowlers who tested the nerves and technique of the Indians.

Sehwag (20) was dismissed following a brilliant low catch by Alex Doolan at gully off the bowling of Peter George.

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 play to continue.

But no sooner did the game resume after the light improved than the Indians found themselves in a hole.


Image: Rain interupts play on Day One of the tour match against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Canberra on Monday
Photographs: Getty Images

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Laxman's smooth stint at the crease was short-lived

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Rahane drove wildly at a widish delivery from left-arm paceman Josh Lalor and was caught by Usman Khawaja in the slip cordon.

Gambhir, who largely played a forgettable knock, edging and missing and even receiving a painful blow on his fingers, tried to push a delivery from Jason Behrendorff and found his stumps rattled.

VVS Laxman (15) looked in good touch before he tried to drive an over-pitched delivery from left-arm spinner Jon Holland and played all over it.

Bollinger, who went wicketless, left the field in the final session but came back in the last quarter of the final hour.

Image: VVS Laxman
Photographs: Getty Images

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Kohli-Sharma rescue Indians

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Kohli and Sharma then took control of the situation and ensured the Indians did not have any more problems. The pair played sensibly and essayed a few impressive drives to push Indians to 162 for 4 by close. The fact that two spinners -- Jon Holland and Cameron Boyce -- operated from the two ends also helped their cause.

Kohli reached his half century with a scurried single to mid-off in the second last over the day's play.

Earlier, the game could only begin after lunch due to overnight rain, which persisted till early this morning.

Among the notable absentees from the 13 playing from the visitors' side are Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, besides two medium-fast bowlers, Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar.

The big names in the Chairman's XI include skipper David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Philip Hughes and Doug Bollinger.


Image: MS Dhoni signs autographs during a break in play on Monday
Photographs: Getty Images

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