Cheteshwar Pujara © Getty Images
Derbyshire: Jul 2, 2014
India were 76 for two in their first innings in reply to Derbyshire‘s 326 for five declared at lunch on the second day of the three-day practice game ahead of the five-Test series against England, today.
After the hosts declared their first innings at the overnight score of 326 for five in 90 overs, India lost both their openers cheaply before overcoming a wobbly start to reach 76 in 32 overs in the opening session of the day. It is a great opportunity for the India to utilise good batting conditions on a sunny day, ahead of the first Test against England, starting in Nottingham on July 9.
Virat Kohli (36 not out off 86 balls) and Cheteshwar Pujara (20 not out off 56 balls) were at the crease at the lunch break, having put on a partnership of 58 runs for the third wicket. But the visitors did not have the best of starts to their innings as they lost Shikhar Dhawan (6) and Murali Vijay (6) cheaply. Out of the three openers, Dhawan is virtually assured of a place in the playing eleven after a good showing on the previous Test tour in New Zealand.
However, there is a keen contest between Vijay and Gautam Gambhir for the second opener’s slot. But the left-handed Gambhir has a good chance of making the final eleven after his half-century knock in the first tour-game at Leicester. Dhawan and Vijay started off slowly with both the batsmen looking to spend time at the crease. Only one run was scored in the first 10 minutes of play giving a peek into their mindset.
Vijay was out LBW to Mark Turner (1 for 30) with the score reading 18 runs, although the batsman was clearly disappointed with the decision. Four balls later, Cotton had Dhawan caught behind with both the openers out for identical scores, each having faced 26 balls and hit one four.
Gambhir didn’t walk out to bat at number three and it was Pujara who was soon afterwards joined by Kohli with India testing their assumed batting line-up for the first Test. The two batsmen looked solid at the crease, watchful but intent on scoring as well. They adjusted to the conditions soon, bringing up India’s the fifty in good time in the 18th over and then their own 50-run partnership in the 30th over.
Derbyshire had won the toss yesterday and rode on half centuries from Wes Durston (95), Ben Slater (54) and Harvey Hossein (53 not out) to pile up the runs against a listless Indian bowling attack. Ravindra Jadeja (2 for 27), Pankaj Singh (1 for 63), Ishwar Pandey (1 for 34) and Stuart Binny (1 for 25) were the wicket-takers for the visitors.