Sydney, Dec 1: Murali Vijay scored a fine century for India as their warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground ended in a draw on Saturday.
The four-day game – headlined by a ligament injury that ruled Prithvi Shaw out of the first Test – was interrupted by rain at times, but the CA XI held their own against a formidable Indian line-up.
The visitors were bowled out for 358 in the first innings, and the hosts then responded with 544, thanks to Harry Nielsen's century.
However, Vijay's ton helped India to 211/2 by stumps on the final day.
The Indians will be happy, though. Apart from Vijay's 132-ball 129, all of Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari scored half-centuries in the first innings after they were asked to bat.
Aaron Hardie, the right-arm paceman, returned 4/50 and was the pick of the home bowlers.
The teenager's scalps included the big wicket of Kohli, apart from Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami.
The hosts then did well with the bat, with D'Arcy Short and Max Bryant adding 114 for the first wicket. The Indian quicks struggled to hit the right lines and lengths, and the home batsmen pounced on them. However, Ashwin then broke through, sending back Bryant for a 65-ball 62.
The seamers then came into their own, with Shami picking up three scalps and Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah each taking a wicket apiece. Nielson, however, scored an impressive century to rescue the side from 234/6 and help post a daunting 544.
India captain Kohli then sent him back for a 170-ball 100 – a rare wicket with his right-arm medium pace.
India trailed by 188 at the start of the second innings, but Vijay was as solid as ever, and with Rahul offering great support, the pair ensured the hosts wouldn't get another chance to bat. They put on 109 runs for the first wicket, with Rahul scoring a patient, much-needed 62 before being dismissed by Short in the 31st over of the innings.
Vijay then went on to reach three figures, and his form – he has scored three fifties and a hundred in five innings for Essex since being dropped from the squad for the England Tests – bodes well for the visitors.
The first Test between Australia and India will be played at the Adelaide Oval from December 6. (UNI)