India 311 (Rahul 111, Jadeja 75, Miles 4-45) and 192/3 dec. (Jadeja 51, Agarwal 47, Vihari 43*, Carson 2-64) drew with County Select XI 220 (Hameed 112, Yadav 3-22, Siraj 2-32) and 31/0.
The third and final day of the first-class game between India and County Select XI ended in a draw after the visitors batted for two whole sessions before declaring at 192/3 along with a preexisting lead of 91 runs. Ravindra Jadeja hit his second 50 of the game, while Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari had good outings scoring 47 and 43 respectively.
On a formal request made by BCCI to the ECB, a first-class game was arranged for the Indian team to undergo some match practice before the all-important series against England. The County Select XI played gritty cricket over the first two days, challenging India with the bat as well as on the field. India, unsurprisingly, being significantly ahead in the game, utilised Day 3 as a match-simulated batting session.
All top four amongst runs for India; Cheteshwar Pujara opens innings
With the exclusion of Shubman Gill due to injury, it was vital for Mayank Agarwal to get runs under his belt as he opened the innings alongside Cheteshwar Pujara. Watching each ball intently for his free flowing 47 off 81 Agarwal was at his usual combative best. On the other hand, there were some good backfoot shots by Pujara off the seam bowlers.
It will be interesting to see who is picked as the first choice opener in the starting XI. While Agarwal drove and cut the ball, Pujara looked solid playing some good strokes off poor balls. Jadeja started where he left off, playing a breezy 51 off 77 before retiring out for the day whereas Vihari played cautiously for his 43 off 105 balls to remain unbeaten.
County Select XI didn’t let the match slip away
The match although being less significant in the context of the tour was played with good overall intensity and prowess. The County Select XI captain, Will Rhodes kept sprits high by his constant reevaluation of plans and field positions even with India stitching sufficiently decent partnerships with relative ease.
Lyndon James backed his determined 27 off 83 in his first innings with good bowling in the second, persistent on a tight line and length targeting the stumps. Jack Carson bowled majority of the overs taking 2-64 off 22 overs. Moreover, the game highlighted the quality of county cricket and the cricketing culture of England, adding to the day’s play.
Match ends in draw
India bowled for 15 overs before calling the game off early and agreeing to a draw. The County Select XI were able to end the day’s play unharmed in the wickets column at 31/0.
The Indian seamers bowled with caution in the second innings, considering the Test matches start in less than two weeks time and uninvited injuries are best kept away. Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur bowled 5 overs each while Umesh Yadav bowled 2.5 overs in the second innings.
Rishabh Pant back with the team after recovering from COVID-19
In what comes as a good news for the Indian team and its fans, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant joined the team earlier yesterday after recovering from COVID-19. He also had a net session before the start of the game on the final day while India’s skipper Virat Kohli took the slot during the lunch break.
The 5-Test series between India and England will start from August 4 with the first Test match scheduled to be played at Trent Bridge.