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Day’s play abandoned due to rain

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DISMISSED: Victorian players celebrate the fall of India’s Sourav Ganguly (second from left) on the second day of their warm-up match.
DISMISSED: Victorian players celebrate the fall of India’s Sourav Ganguly (second from left) on the second day of their warm-up match.

Allan Wise takes the only Indian wicket to fall on Friday

Melbourne: India was 133 for four when the second day’s play of its warm-up cricket match against Victoria was abandoned due to rain here on Friday.

Earlier, India lost Sourav Ganguly for 59 and reached 133 for four during a brief session on day two.

After a delayed start to the day’s proceedings due to wet outfield, only 10 overs could be bowled before yet another rain-delay with Rahul Dravid (38) and Yuvraj Singh (6) in the middle.

Allan Wise scalped Ganguly for his fourth wicket of the match.

Resuming at 110 for three, Ganguly decided to go after the bowling. He clipped Wise through the mid-wicket region and then cut him for a four before the bowler had his revenge in the same over.

Wise pitched it on the middle stump and induced a flick from Ganguly which found Aiden Blizzard at mid-wicket.

Ganguly’s 59 came off 99 balls and included nine hits to the fence.

Yuvraj too looked in trouble against Wise even though Dravid looked unflappable.

Indoor nets

Meanwhile, the Indians, sensing that weather could play a real spoilsport in their preparation, sent Virender Sehwag to indoor nets at the MCG.

Should poor weather persist on Saturday too, as it has been the forecast, the Indians have again requested for the MCG indoor facility to be made available to them.

The first Test starts on December 26 at the MCG.

Husseyspeak

Meanwhile, in a veiled warning to Anil Kumble and his teammates, Australia’s middle order bulwark, Michael Hussey, said every home batsman would be armed with separate strategy for each Indian bowler when they walk out to bat in the Test series.

Hussey said the host had not left any stone unturned in its preparation and it would come hard at the Indians.

“We have done quite a bit of preparation: video footage and all. We have also faced them before. Different guys will have their own plans on how to handle different bowlers,” Hussey said.

As for the pitch, Hussey conceded it was more in favour of batsmen these days at the MCG.

“The pitches have changed. I believe it is a bit more batter-friendly. We will just have to wait until we get there to assess the conditions,” he added.

Hussey’s attention was then drawn to the fact that the tourist struggled on the opening day of the tour and that Rahul Dravid could be opening the innings in Tests.

“Sometimes, it is difficult for touring teams as soon as they get to Australia to adapt and adjust to conditions. I don’t think I would be reading too much into their first out there... but come Boxing Day, everything will be different.

“As for Dravid, I am not sure if he is going to open in Tests. He is a quality player, a world-class player, and he has been that for such a long time. For someone of that class, Dravid could bat anywhere in the order. If he opens the batting, he is going to do as good a job as at 3,4,5, 6 or even 10.”

Admiration

Hussey also admired the tenacity of the Indians to keep going after so many matches.

“The amount of cricket they have played in the last one year has been tremendous. They are playing very good cricket and have good momentum going. They also have good form behind them.

“They have a lot of experienced cricketers who have played in Australia and done well. I am expecting one of the toughest challenges we have had in quite some time,” Hussey said.

The scores:

India — 1st Innings: W. Jaffer c Finch b Wise 0, R. Dravid (not out) 38, V.V.S. Laxman c Wade b Wise 1, S. Tendulkar b Wise 19, S. Ganguly c Finch b Wise 59, Yuvraj (not out) 6, Extras (lb-1, nb-9): 10; Total (for four wkts. in 48 overs): 133.

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-10, 3-38, 4-121.

Victoria bowling: Siddle 15-1-43-0, Wise 15-4-37-4, McDonald 6-1-11-0, Hastings 6-2-17-0, McGain 6-2-24-0. — PTI

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