The Indian Test team’s break, post the defeat in the World Test Championship final in England, got over recently and the squad came together for India’s tour match in Durham. It was a last-minute arrangement and thus, the Indian team had to provide two players in Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar to the County XI to complete the numbers.
The three-day match at Chester-le-street finished as a draw eventually, as most tour matches do, but there were plenty of positives that the team can take from this match. Here are the top talking points from India’s tour match against the County Select XI.
A TON FOR KLASSY RAHUL
With Rishabh Pant out of this match because of Covid and Wriddhiman Saha isolating, the team management turned to KL Rahul to keep wickets in this tour match. The management is now looking at Rahul predominantly as a middle-order batter and his exploits in this tour match would have done no harm to his new position. Rahul notched up a brilliant inning as he reached his hundred in just 150 balls. It was a proper knock by the Indian batter and it would be interesting to see whether this innings would be enough to give him a slot in the XI of the first Test against England.
TWIN FIFTIES FOR SIR JADEJA
Ravindra Jadeja is soon transforming himself into one of the best all-rounders in world cricket. Every time he takes the field with the bat, he looks extremely comfortable and has the positive intent of scoring quick runs. In this match as well, Jadeja crafted a well made 75 in the first innings and followed that up with another fifty (retired) in the second innings.
BOWLERS GET QUALITY MATCH PRACTICE
The Indian bowlers looked a little rusty in the World Test Championship final and this tour match was much-needed for a few of them. There was no surprise when Jasprit Bumrah took the new ball alongside Umesh Yadav. The team is going into a full-fledged five-match Test series against England and would need all their fast bowlers up and ready in case of injuries to the frontline seamers. Hence, this match was important for players like Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav, who may not start in the first Test but may play a crucial role later in the series.
BIG GUNS WERE MISSING
It was surprising to see Rohit Sharma walk out for the toss rather than Virat Kohli. The Indian captain was seen practising in the nets and missed out on this tour match due to a stiff back. The other Test regulars in Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami all missed the action in this match as the opportunity was handed to players on the fringes of selection.
VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT CRICKET NEWS STORIES & FEATURES