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KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav shine as India’s warm-up match against the province. Select XI ends in a draw

The warm-up match of three days between Team India and County Select XI at the Emirates Riverside in Durham, came to an end on Thursday night with the visitors getting a good workout in the middle ahead of Joe Root’s upcoming five-match Test series against England.

The Indians were without the services of captain Virat Kohli, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and the experienced duo Ishant Sharma and R. Ashwin for various reasons.

While Virat and Rahane did not perform due to their respective injuries, Ishant Sharma and Ashwin were rested. Rishabh Pant, on the other hand, missed out on Covid.

With Wriddhiman, Saha is also unavailable due to a ten-day isolation after coming into close contact with Dayanand Garani, the knockout specialist, who tested positive last week. KL Rahul put on the gloves.

KL Rahul achieves a century against County Select XI in warm-up clash (Photo – BCCI Twitter)

Rahul, who played his first FC match since the Ranji semi-finals in March 2020, made the most of his chance when he smashed a brilliant unbeaten century in India’s first innings before retiring.

Rahul’s knockout of 101 balls from 150 balls was crucial not only from an individual point of view, but also because of the context of the game. India have already lost their four batsmen in the top order in the form of captain Rohit Sharma [9], Mayank Agarwal [28], Cheteshwar Pujara [21], and Hanuma Vihari [24] with the score of 107 and the possibility of being bowled out for an overwhelming total that is considered big.

However, Rahul, along with the dynamic all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, set up a dazzling 127-run stand for the fifth wicket to take India to safety.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

Jadeja, on the other hand, had another dazzling outing in the warm-up game when he batted for consecutive half-centuries, in addition to claiming one wicket in the form of James Rew.

Jadeja scored a brilliant 146-ball 75 in the first innings and he backed it up with another 50-plus score [51  not-out off 77 balls] in the second essay before retiring.

In terms of Indian bowling, each of Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja had a solid workout in the middle.

Umesh Yadav was clearly the choice of the fast bowlers, as the Vidarbha Express consistently bothered the County Select XI batsmen with seam and swing and at a sharp pace.

Yadav bowled 15 overs in the first innings and conceded just 22 runs, excluding 3 wickets. The veteran bowled at full length and nailed the ball at a bad pace and the County Select XI beat sans Haseeb Hameed, who scored a brilliant 112, and had no idea.

And that was quite clear during Will Rhodes’ dismissal in the first innings when the ball blew in to hit his stump.

Jasprit Bumrah also had a decent workout, but sometimes he was guilty of bowling a little too short. He did claim a wicket in the first innings – from Robert Yates who struck out – while bowling 15 overs for 29 overs.

Mohammed Siraj also had a decent outing. The right-arm seam bowler knocked over his compatriot Washington Sundar with a ripping bouncer before clearing Jack Carson with a full delivery.

India finally fired the Select Select XI for the 2nd night for 220. Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal opened the innings for the visitors in the second innings and the duo set up a brilliant stand of 87 runs.

However, both innings could not get past the 50-run mark. While Mayank was fired for 47, Pujara was again overturned by spinner Carson.

Hanuma Vihari [43 not-out] and Ravindra Jadeja [51 not-out] had a decent hit in the middle before India declared their turn for 192.

Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur bowled ten overs between them, but with very little success, and the match was finally postponed during the 16th over.

During the warm-up game, however, the visitors sustained two more injuries in the form of Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar, who both competed for the County Select XI. It remains to be seen whether the BCCI will replace an injury to the duo and Shubman Gill, who was previously ruled out of the series due to injury.

Also read Watch: KL Rahul’s respectful gesture to the Indian Test cap during the warm-up match

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