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India batsmen tune up for Galle with runs

India 312 for 9 dec (Rahul 54, Kohli 53, Dhawan 41, Fernando 2-37, Kaushal 2-81, Sanjaya 1-64) drew with Sri Lanka Board President's XI 187 (Gunathilaka 74, Thirimanne 59, Kuldeep 4-14)
Scorecard

India's batsmen enjoyed a smooth tune-up on the second day of the practice game against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI, hitting 177 for the loss of only two further wickets. Virat Kohli was the only batsman to register a half-century, but Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha all made it past thirty, a short time after which they were all retired out. Kohli's overnight partner Ajinkya Rahane, too, made 40 before he and Kohli were retired out simultaneously.

The President's XI, however, appeared to have limited the amount of spin the India batsmen faced. Tharindu Kaushal bowled 14 overs and claimed the wickets of Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya late in the day, but Shehan Jayasuriya and Dhananjaya de Silva only delivered one over each. The remaining 52 overs were shared between four frontline quicks - Vishwa Fernando the most successful among them, with 2 for 37 from 10 overs. He had, however, taken both of those wickets on Friday.

Not only will India be pleased at having lost so few wickets, they may also be encouraged by the positivity of their batsmen. They traveled at 4.59 runs an over across their 68-over innings, hitting 30 fours and four sixes all told. Saha made his 36 off 40 balls, and Dhawan his 41 off 48. In fact, none of the batsmen, who retired out on Saturday, had a strike rate south of 65. Kaushal and seamer Vikum Sanjaya were the main victims of that aggression - both conceding runs at more than five an over. Even though Colombo Cricket Club is a small ground, none of the bowlers can be said to have been miserly.

India declared their innings when they were nine down, despite the match being a two-dayer. Thereafter, they also declined the opportunity to take the field again. Though the team has not played Tests since March, their batsmen and bowlers appear to have got the workout they wanted from this game - enough for them to go to Galle with some confidence.