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Kohli hits half-century as India prepare for England Tests

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

India captain Virat Kohli struck a half-century as the tourists ended the first day of their three-day tour game against Essex at Chelmsford 322-6.

Kohli, who averaged 13.40 with a highest score of 39 in five Tests against England four years ago, hit 68 off 93 balls before left-armer Paul Walter had him caught by Varun Chopra.

India had a jittery start to the day when Matt Coles took two wickets in his first three overs, Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara edging behind to James Foster for 0 and 1 respectively. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane could only manage 17, bringing Kohli to the crease in the 19th over with the score on 44.

He batted determinedly on a seaming wicket, hitting 12 fours, while opener Murali Vijay continued a patient 113-ball innings, before being bowled by Walter for 53.

Lokesh Rahul (58) and Dinesh Karthik (82*) also got amongtst the runs before a late cameo from Hardik Pandya (33*) saw India through to the close in a strong position.

The match – which has been reduced from four days to three to allow India more time to prepare for the first Test at Edgbaston – is the only warm-up game the away side have before taking on England in five Tests starting on Wednesday August 1.

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