Cricket

Essex v India: Virat Kohli makes half-century in tour match

India's Virat Kohli

Tour match, Chelmsford (day one of three):
India 322-6 (84 overs): Karthik 82*, Kohli 68, Rahul 58; Coles 2-31
Essex: Yet to bat
Scorecard

India recovered from a sticky start on the first day of their warm-up match against Essex at Chelmsford.

A week before the first Test against England begins, the tourists were reduced to 5-2 and 44-3.

But they were steadied by a classy 68 from captain Virat Kohli, who added 90 with opener Murali Vijay (53).

KL Rahul pushed his Test claims with 58, while Dinesh Karthik ended unbeaten on 82 as India closed on 322-6.

The match was reduced from four days to three at the request of India, who were concerned about the hot weather and the tight nature of their schedule.

They will travel to Birmingham a day earlier than planned, with the Test at Edgbaston starting next Wednesday.

With the match shortened, India have all 18 members of the squad available to bat and bowl in what is no longer a first-class fixture.

They struggled against the new ball. Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara edged behind in successive Matt Coles overs, while Essex dropped three slip catches off Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane.

However, the tone changed after Rahane nicked Matt Quinn, signalling the arrival of Kohli.

The skipper instantly looked in fine touch, his calmness rubbing off on Vijay.

Their stand ended when Vijay was bowled by left-armer Paul Walter. Soon after, it was a surprise when a loose Kohli drive at Walter resulted in an edge to first slip.

Still, from 147-5, any suggestion of an India wobble was quashed by a stand of 114 between Rahul and Karthik.

After Rahul was caught in the deep from the left-arm spin off Aron Nijjar, Karthik made serene progress to the close in the company of Hardik Pandya.

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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