Karthik, Kohli among runs

By PTI Published on Jul 26, 2018 04:55 PM IST

Chelmsford: Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik scored an aggressive 82 not out, while captain Virat Kohli warmed up nicely for the first Test against England with a half century as India recovered from early jitters to post 322 for 6 on the opening day of their three-day tour-match against county side Essex here on Wednesday.

Opener Murali Vijay (53 off 113 balls) and Lokesh Rahul (58 off 92 balls) also scored a half century each after the visitors opted to bat after winning the toss. Coming at number seven at the fall of Kohli (68) in the second session, Karthik smashed as many as 14 fours from 94 deliveries to remain not out on 82 along with Hardik Pandya (33 not out off 58 balls).

Karthik stitched 114 runs with Rahul for the sixth wicket to take India's score past the 300 mark. Kohli, who had struggled all through the previous Test tour of England in 2014, was instrumental in reviving the Indian innings after the visiting side were reduced to 5/2 in the third over and 44/3 in the 19th over.

He came out at number five at the fall of Ajinkya Rahane (17 off 47 balls) and along with Vijay resurrected the Indian innings with a 93-ball 68, which was studded with 12 fours. The 90 runs he shared with Vijay for the fourth laid the foundation for the likes of Karthik and Rahul to flourish down the order as India batted for 84 overs.

With his 92-ball 58, which was studded with 12 boundaries, Rahul himself made out a case to be in the playing eleven in some point of time in the long Test tour.

After all the drama was over, the condition of the pitch and the outfield at this ground, which apparently led to the curtailing of the match by one day, the Indians won the toss and got down to the business of spending time at the middle ahead of the five-match Test series beginning in Birmingham on 1 August.