Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: Murali Vijay, India’s opening batsman in Tests, had a tough time during the England tour. Following his below-par performance, he was axed from the squad for the last three matches. However, an impeccable County stint helped him reviving his lost form and after three months, he returned stronger in Australia and slammed a ravishing ton in the only practice match against Cricket Australia XI.
Vijay celebrated his comeback with an unbeaten century off 118 balls. Opening the innings with KL Rahul, he looked solid throughout the innings on the fourth day. He reached his half-century off 91 balls and then shifted the gear to get the three figures in the next 27 balls.
The 38th over of the second innings turned out to be the game changer when Vijay was batting at 74. With all his guns ablaze, he blasted 26 runs in Jake Carder’s over to race to his hundred. He smashed 3 boundaries and 2 sixes, causing a typhoon at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Here’s the video:
Earlier, Rahul scored 62 (98 balls) as the duo put on 109 runs for the opening wicket as India finished at 211-2 (43.4 overs) in their second innings at stumps. Rahul batted with greater confidence than in recent times, hitting eight fours and a six, as he warmed up for the first Test. At times, he did look shaky with circumspect timing, as seen in his dismissal off a full toss caught at mid-wicket.
Hanuma Vihari (15*) came out at number three and finished unbeaten at stumps.
This was after Cricket Australia XI finished at 544 runs (151.1 overs) in their first innings and kept India in the field for as long as possible. India had scored 358 in their first innings.
Mohammed Shami (3-97) did not bowl on this final day, while R Ashwin (2-122 in 40 overs) and Ishant Sharma (1-73 in 22 overs) sent down a majority of overs in the morning session.
India though tested their fifth bowling options again as Vihari (0-34), Virat Kohli (1-27) and Murali Vijay (0-17) sent down 13 overs between them.
Harry Nielsen (100) scored a hundred off 170 balls, including nine fours, and was out caught at mid-off as he hit a skier off Kohli.
The hosts’ lower order all got good runs with Daniel Fallins (43), Luke Robins (38 not out) and Jackson Coleman (36) keeping the visitors chasing leather in the sun. The latter duo added 57 runs for the final wicket.