The only practice match between Essex and India before the 5-match series against England ends with draw at County Ground, Chelmsford on Friday, July 27. It was a good outing for the Indian batsmen as five players scored half centuries in the first innings and also for Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma who looked in good rhythm.
However, opener Shikhar Dhawan failed in both the innings as he couldn't even open his account in both the innings. Same happened with Cheteshwar Pujara who could manage only 1 and 23. But apart from Dhawan and Pujara, Murli Vijay 53 (first innings), skipper Virat Kohli 68 (first innings), Lokesh Rahul 58 & 36*, Dinesh Karthik 82 (first innings), and Hardik Pandya 51 (first innings) had a good practice with bat.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane however, didn't score big as he scored 17 in first innings and remained not out on 19 in the second innings, but he looked in good touch in both the innings. India tried Karun Nair, Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant also and they scored 4, 15, and 34* respectively in the first innings. India's first innings finished on 395 in 100.2 overs. Essex's Paul Walter took 4 wickets for his side.
Essex in reply of India's first innings, give a good fight and made it difficult for the Indian bowlers. They declared their innings on 359 for 8 in 94 overs with three players scored half centuries. Paul Walter was the top scorer with 75 and had a good match with both bat and bowl. skipper Tom Westley and Michael-Kyle Pepper also contributed with 57 and 68 respectively.
For India, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma made most of this practice match and grabbed 4 and 3 wickets respectively. Virat Kohli tried 8 bowlers to know the batter bowling combination before going to official matches. But apart from, Yadav and Sharma no other bowler looked in good touch. Shardul Thakur picked a wicket but he never looked in good rhythm despite some odd balls.
In the second innings when India was on 89 for 2, both the captains agreed on draw as the result wasn't looking possible. Rahul and Rahane remained unbeaten on 36 & 19.
It was the only practice match for India before the series against England which is scheduled to play from August 1.