India made 258 for 6 on the opening day of the practice match between India and West Indies Cricket Board President's XI at Basseterre on Saturday. The Indians took time out to spend as much time as possible out in the middle. Team India won the toss, and Virat Kohli decided to bat first. The visitors were out in the middle for 93 overs, and batted rather cautiously to accumulate the runs. Three Indians managed to cross the fifty mark. The openers Lokesh Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, and middle order bat Rohit Sharma.
Dhawan and Rahul batted well to add 93 runs for the opening wicket in 27 overs. Both of them retired after reaching their half-centuries. Rahul made 50 from 99 deliveries with the help of five fours and a six. Dhawan, on the other hand, scored 51 from 90 balls with seven fours.
While the openers batted well, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane failed to spend time out in the middle. Kohli was dismissed for 14 from 40 balls. He was caught behind off the left-arm spin of Jomel Warrican. He and Cheteshwar Pujara had added 26 runs for the third wicket when Kohli fell. Warrican had another big scalp when he clean bowled Rahane for 5. The middle order batted 25 balls for his short knock.
Pujara, meanwhile, spent some valuable time out in the middle. He made 34 from 102 balls with five fours before himself retiring. At 166 for 5, it seemed there wasn’t much for the Indians to do. But, Rohit took the opportunity to stake his claim for a middle-order slot. He made an unbeaten 54 from 109 balls with 8 fours and a six. Wriddhiman Saha and Amit Mishra gave him good support with 22 and 18 not out respectively.
For the hosts, left-arm spinners Warrican was the most successful bowler with 2 for 61. Damion Jacobs was the only other bowler to claim a wicket. He finished with 1 for 80. Jason Dawes finished with 0 for 20 in 10 overs. Keon Joseph was really poor with the ball. While he gave away 40 runs in 13 overs, it included as many as eight no-balls. While India could have batted a bit faster, overall they got decent batting practice.
--By A Cricket Correspondent