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

Last updated on: December 19, 2011 14:43 IST

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

Of the 50 overs possible amid rain and gloom at the Manuka Oval, the visitors, after electing to bat, had their last remaining pair of recognised batsmen -- Kohli (55) and Rohit Sharma (38) -- at the crease.

Earlier, a fresh spell of rain forced players indoors after the visiting Indians had reached 51 for 1 from 16 overs on the first day of their three-day practice match against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Canberra on Monday.

The Indians lost Virender Sehwag (12) after the opener guided a Peter George delivery into gully where Alex Doolan took a smart low catch.

Gautam Gambhir (24) and Ajinkya Rahane (14) held firm after the fall of the first wicket. However, the Gambhir faced more than one moment of discomfort against a decent home attack of Doug Bollinger and George.

Gambhir played and missed quite a few times and once was even rapped painfully on his fingers by fast bowler Jason Behrendorff, for which he needed treatment in the dressing room.

The match was scheduled to start 1100 hrs (local time) but a soggy outfield following overnight rain delayed the proceedings until after the lunch.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on pace spearhead Zaheer Khan who is returning to the Indian squad after a five-month injury layoff.

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.

It's an open-ended fixture with 13 members turning up for both sides. While Indians are keen to test themselves before the first Test, the hosts have quite a few Test regulars and hopefuls trying to steel up for future engagements.

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

It is India's last practice game before the opening Test against Australia from December 26.

Scoreboard (at stumps)

Indians 1st innings:

Gautam Gambhir b Behrendorff 24

Virender Sehwag c Doolan b George 12

Ajinkya Rahane c Khawaja b Lalor 15

Virat Kohli not out 55

VVS Laxman b Holland 15

Rohit Sharma not out 38

Extras: (B-1, W-1, NB-1) 3

Total: (in 50 overs) 162 for 4

Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-52, 3-53, 4-84

Bowling: Doug Bollinger 7-1-30-0, Peter George 12-2-42-1, Jason Behrendorff 9-5-8-1, Josh Lalor 7-3 9-1, Jon Holland 9-0-37-1, Cameron Boyce 6-0-35-0.

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