Kohli positive after Indian top order wilts
Indians 4 for 162 (Kohli 55*) v CA Chairman's XI
On a rain-hit day in Canberra, the Indian top-order batsmen did not make use of what could be their last chance to bat in a competitive match ahead of the Boxing Day Test. They slipped to 4 for 84 against the CA Chairman's XI, after play had begun two hours and 40 minutes late, before a positive partnership between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma steadied the innings.
Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were rested for this tour match, while Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni and Zaheer Khan were included in the thirteen after sitting out of the first game. Ishant Sharma, whose fitness is still doubtful, also missed out.
After choosing to bat on a gloomy day - there was an interruption for bad light soon after the play finally began - the Indians lost Sehwag for a run-a-ball 12, caught off the bowling of Peter George. Gautam Gambhir, like he had in the first tour game, fell after getting a start. He was bowled for 24 by Jason Behrendorff, who was the most economical of the Chairman XI bowlers with figures of 1 for 8 in nine overs. Ajinkya Rahane, India's reserve opener on the tour, also failed for the second time in two innings, and when he and Gambhir were dismissed in quick succession India had crawled to 3 for 53 in 21 overs.
VVS Laxman showed signs of repairing the innings with Virat Kohli. Laxman struck a couple of fours - including a well-timed on drive - before missing one from left-arm spinner Jon Holland while trying to work it to the leg side. Holland had replaced Doug Bollinger from the Telopea Park end, after the fast bowler - who's looking to work his way back into Australia's Test team - had failed to pick up a wicket.
Rohit Sharma was dropped first ball at short leg, after pushing at a delivery. Kolhi, who's in a race with Rohit for the No. 6 spot in India's batting line-up, counterattacked. He too had a bit of luck early on, edging wide of the slip cordon, but he made the most of it, driving through the covers, pulling and punching down the ground for boundaries.
Kohli brought up his fifty, and Rohit too began to show some aggression. He drove twice through the covers and lofted the ball over long-off to bring up India's 150. The pair added 78 off 104 balls before stumps - though Rohit was dropped once again, by Usman Khawaja in the slip cordon off legspinner Cameron Boyce - to take the Indians to 4 for 162.
The Chairman's XI captain, David Warner, left the field a couple of times during the day to get treatment for a sore back, though it wasn't deemed a serious problem.