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Srikar Bharat impressed, top-order fails in warm-up match against Leicestershire | Cricket News


Wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat impressed with an unbeaten 70, even though India’s top order could not get batting practice on the first day of their warm-up match against Leicestershire on Thursday in Leicester. India finished Day 1 on 246/8. India’s leading cannons, who chose to bat after winning the toss, could not shoot as the visitors dropped to 81 for five. However, Bharat shone during his 158-minute stay in the middle before rain brought an early end to the day’s proceedings at Grace Road. In all, the 28-year-old batsman from Andhra hit eight fours and a six while hitting 111 balls. At stumps, Mohammed Shami gave Bharat company at 18.

Skipper Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (21) got out after they started. The opening duo, who are set to start India’s innings in the one-off ‘fifth Test’, added 35 runs for the first wicket before the latter were knocked out by fast-paced medium bowler Will Davis.

India’s first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who represented the English county team alongside Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna, held on to the catch of Gill, who found the fence four times while it lasted 38 minutes.

For the addition of another 15 runs, India lost the wicket of Rohit, who struck three fours during his 64-minute stay in the middle. Rohit’s departure paved the way for Virat Kohli’s arrival, and the former Indian captain looked to take the onus on himself to support India.

In between, Hanuma Vihari (3) came to bat at number three, but started cheaply from the bowling of Roman Walker.

Shreyas Iyer was unable to open his account and walked back to the locker room after facing 11 balls after pinching Prasidh in Pant’s waiting hands.

Interestingly, Prasidh, who made the ball swing wonderfully, got some tips from Kohli just before Iyer’s dismissal.

The versatile player Ravindra Jadeja also could not make an impact, as he was judged as lbw from the bowling of Roman Walker, who ended the day with impressive figures of 5/24.

With five of their batsmen back in the hut, wicketkeeper Kohli and Bharat came together and added 57 runs to bolster the ship.

However, Kohli, after hitting four boundaries and a six, fell against Walker. The 21-year-old seam bowler then sacked Shardul Thakur (6) to complete his five-wicket haul and reduce India to 148 for seven.

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Fast bowler Umesh Yadav stepped in with 23 off 32 balls and hit four boundaries in the process.

The Test match, which was rescheduled after it was abandoned due to a COVID-19 outbreak last year, starts on 1 July.

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