Canberra: Dec 19, 2011
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 here today.
The Indians lost Virender Sehwag (12) after the opener guided Peter George into gully wherein Alex Doolan picked up a smart low catch.
Gautam Gambhir (24) and Ajinkya Rahane (14) held firm at the two ends though the former has 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 which needed treatment from the dressing room.
It is India's last practice game before the opening Test against Australia from December 26 and 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. (PTI)