Durham, July 20: Indian cricket team began its preparation for the Test series against England with a three-day tour game against a County Select XI side at the Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street in Durham.
Senior India cricketer Rohit Sharma is captaining the Indian side as captain Virat Kohli and his Test deputy Ajinkya Rahane rested. Rohit won the toss and opted to bat first with an aim to bat for a longer period of time.
However, the Indians had a disastrous start as their top-three failed to impress with the bat. Rohit Sharma opened India's innings with Mayank Agarwal and the duo looked in fine touch as they started well. Both the openers disappointed as they were both dismissed in the first session of the day's play. Both the Indian openers were removed by James Lyndon.
Rohit Sharma was the first Indian wicket to perish as he was caught by Jack Carson off Lyndon James' delivery. Rohit could only score 9 off 33 deliveries. Later, Lyndon James, the right-arm Nottinghamshire pacer, gave the tourists their second jolt when he clean bowled Mayank Agarwal for 28. Agarwal was looking in fine touch before his dismissal as he smashed six boundaries in his 35-ball knock.
India's scorecard reach 33 when Rohit was dismissed and 11 runs later his opening partner Agarwal too joined in the dressing room. India, thus, lost both the openers under 14 overs.
Later, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari took their time to settle down but Pujara too didn't last long at the crease as he departed for 21 off 47 deliveries, and Indians lost their third wicket in 25th over. It was Pujara's dismissal that hurt because the Rajkot batsman was stumped by wicketkeeper James Rew against spinner Jack Carson.
Pujara was trying to step forward and defend the ball but missed it completely and the glovesman didn't let the opportunity slip away and disturbed the woodwork in time. India's scorecard read 67 when Pujara was dismissed on 24.1 over. Indians thus lost their top-three cheaply to the dismay of their fans.
Interestingly, India off-spinner Washington Sundar and young pacer Avesh Khan were included in the opposition's Playing XI. Avesh opened the innings with the ball for the County Select XI side.
Team India are sporting black armbands to mourn the sad demise of former India cricketer Yashpal Sharma, who passed away on July 13 after a cardiac arrest. India's Head Coach Ravi Shastri was his teammate in the 1983 World Cup-winning squad.
County Select XI Squad:
Playing XI: Haseeb Hameed, Jake Libby, Robert Yates, Zak Chappell, Will Rhodes (c), James Rew (wk), Liam Patterson-White, Jack Carson, Craig Miles, Avesh Khan, Lyndon James.
Bench: Washington Sundar, Ethan Bamber, Rehan Ahmed, James Bracey
Playing XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Bench: Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Wriddhiman Saha, Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma.