In-form skipper Virat Kohli and teenage prodigy Prithvi Shaw were among the five Indian batsmen who struck fifties before the visiting Indian side was bowled out for 358 on the second day of the rain-hit practice game against Cricket Australia XI here.
In response, the home side finished the day at 24-0 in four overs. For India, Cheteshwar Pujara (54), Ajinkya Rahane (56), and Hanuma Vihari (53) were the others to score half-centuries.
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The rain relented and the match got underway earlier in the morning with play extended to 98 overs for each of the remaining three days. Cricket Australia XI won the toss and chose to field.
On account of high moisture in the ground, there was a lack of pace and bounce in the morning but 19-year-old Shaw set a hectic pace as he hit 11 fours during his 69-ball stay at the crease.
In contrast was his opening partner KL Rahul (3), who struggled to time the ball and lost his wicket when he was caught at mid-off playing a loose drive off Jackson Coleman.
Shaw and Pujara then added 80 runs for the second wicket. While the young opener took on the bowling, the latter was his usual sedate self. Shaw reached his half-century off 52 balls, but soon departed when he was bowled by Daniel Fallins.
India went to lunch at 169-2 with Pujara also completing his half-century and Kohli looking solid on 41. The skipper went on to score 64 off 87 balls, including seven fours and a six, and looked at ease.
The duo fell after lunch, with Pujara bowled off an inswinger from Luke Robins, while 19-year-old Aaron Hardie took the prized scalp of Kohli, accepting a return catch off a drive.
Rahane and Vihari came together thereafter, putting on 81 runs for the fifth wicket. Vihari looked comfortable and scored at a quick pace. Rahane, at the other end, took his time and settled down. Vihari reached his half-century off 75 balls and was out leg-before to D’Arcy Short after tea. Rahane continued to prod on and scored a half-century off 115 balls, and then retired for 56 thereafter.
Rohit Sharma looked in good form and scored 40 off 55 balls, including five fours and a six. But India’s lower-order folded without much effort, including Sharma, who was caught behind shortly after the new ball was introduced.
R. Ashwin and Mohammed Shami failed to open their account and both were caught behind in quick succession.
Hardie was the pick of the Australian bowlers and finished with figures of 4-50.
The Australian pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood were spotted in the SCG nets on Thursday morning, going through the paces ahead of the first Test starting in Adelaide on December 6.
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