India vs Leicestershire: KS Bharat leads visitors’ fightback with unbeaten 70 on Day 1 of warm-up game

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Virat Kohli was dismissed for 33 by Roman Walker, who also dismissed Shardul Thakur later on.

Rohit Sharma-led India got their four-day warm-up match against Leicestershire in Leicester underway on Thursday, ahead of their rescheduled fifth Test against England in England, that starts 1 July.

Rain forced early stumps on Thursday, but KS Bharat’s gritty unbeaten 70 led India to 246/8, with 60.2 overs being bowled.

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Opting to bat first, India lost half the side, with skipper Rohit (25) and Shubman Gill (21) getting off to decent starts but failing to capitalise on it. Hanuma Vihari (3), Shreyas Iyer (0) and Ravindra Jadeja (13) too put up disappointing displays. Virat Kohli managed just 33 runs as he fell to Roman Walker’s lbw trap. Vihari and Shreyas endured single-figure dismissals, but Bharat made sure India would not fall victim to a humiliating collapse, after being restricted to 81/5 at one stage.

At stumps, Bharat remained unbeaten on 70 with Mohammed Shami unbeaten on 18 at the other end.

Prasidh Krishna, Jasprit Bumrah, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant have all turned up for Leicestershire against India, with Krishna taking a wicket as well.

Meanwhile, R Ashwin joined Team India before the ongoing warm-up game in what is a huge boost for India. Ashwin had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 and his departure to England was delayed. India lead the five-match Test series 2-1, which was halted before the fifth Test in September last year due to a COVID-19 breakout in the Indian camp. India are aiming for their first Test series victory in England since 2007.

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