Bharat and Kohli lead India effort on mixed day in Leicestershire warm-up match

An unbeaten 70 by Srikar Bharat was an Indian player’s standout performance on the first day of the tour match against a Leicestershire XI with Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna.

battle battles

India’s tour of England and Ireland got off to a shaky start on the opening morning of the warm-up against a combined Leicestershire and India XI on Thursday.

Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill’s opening score of 35 ended abruptly when the younger opener was caught behind Will Davis for 21, with Rishabh Pant, part of a revamped opposition XI, taking the catch.

The wickets continued to tumble in Leicester, with three leading Indian batters leaving in quick succession – Rohit Sharma (25), Hanuma Vihari (3) and Shreyas Iyer (0) joining Gill in the loft early.

And Ravindra Jadeja (13) was the fifth batter to fall in the morning session, leaving India 90/5 during lunch.

It was a worrisome morning for India’s top class, who struggled in particular with Leicestershire sailors Will Davis and Roman Walker.

Bharat seizes his chance

Two players with stark contrasting profiles began to repair the damage after lunch, with Virat Kohli and Srikar Bharat partnering 57 people in the afternoon.

Kohli’s 33 came off 69 balls and featured five boundaries, including a big six from Prasidh Krishna, with the former skipper looking pretty close before getting caught up front by Walker.

And Bharat bolstered his advocacy for India’s first cap with a timely half-century, top score on the day for India.

The 28-year-old wicketkeeper batter has been in and around the Indian lineup in both white-ball and red-ball cricket for three years, appearing in a number of squads as injury cover, but has not yet been listed as a starting player.

But his chances of making his debut in Edgbaston against England will only have been boosted by his excellent 70 not from 111 deliveries, with Bharat still alongside Mohammed Shami, with India to 246/8.

Useful stuff for Bumrah and Krishna

While it was the English sailors who did the damage with the ball, Leicestershire’s attack also includes some of India’s bowlers to give the whole squad some playing time for the upcoming T20Is against Ireland and move the fifth Test against England.

Jasprit Bumrah bowled nine rusty but useful overs, while Prasidh Krishna himself came through a good set of overs and picked up Shreyas Iyer’s wicket along the way.

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