Ishant bowls on shortened final day
Indians 269 (Kohli 132, Holland 6-70) and 2 for 90 (Gambhir 42*) drew with Cricket Australia Chairman's XI 7 for 215 (Cowan 109, Ashwin 4-52) and 0 for 100 (Khawaja 56*, Hughes 42*)
With the game between Indians and Cricket Australia Chairman's XI heading for a draw, the two sides took advantage of the match not being a first-class fixture to decide to bat for 30 overs each on the final day.
While the Indians' bowling attack failed to take a wicket, they would have been buoyed by an improved performance from Zaheer Khan, who is coming back from ankle surgery. He bowled five overs and conceded just 13 runs. Ishant Sharma, who did not start the game because of an ankle problem of his own, was drafted in on third day and bowled four overs, suggesting he could be ready for the first Test that begins on December 26.
After CA Chairman's XI declared on their overnight score of 7 for 215, Indians lost Virender Sehwag and Ajinkya Rahane inside the first ten overs, the latter for a 16-ball duck, his third failure in three attempts on tour. Gautam Gambhir, who has not scored an international hundred for a year, steadied the visitors in the company of Rohit Sharma, who was the more fluid of the two. The pair added 76 in 20.3 overs, with Gambhir remaining unbeaten on 42 and Rohit on 38.
Set 146 to win from 30 overs, CA Chairman's XI opened with Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja, pushing first-innings centurion Ed Cowan, who was named in Australia's squad for the Boxing Day Test, down the order. The target was never seriously pursued as the pair, both of whom were dropped from the Australia Test squad, started slowly. The only interest was whether they could attain personal milestones before the close. Khawaja managed to reach his half-century, making 56 with seven fours, while Hughes had to be content with 42 not out.