Batting practice for tourists

After a decent bowling performance on the first day, in which Anil Kumble announced his arrival in Zimbabwe with a five wicket bag, the Indians commenced their batting innings 294 behind the Board XI.

Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, the latter like Kumble playing his first match on tour, made a good start to their partnership. From there it just got better, the score reaching 196 before the bowlers broke through. Sehwag, as usual, dominated the partnership and it was his wicket that was the first to fall, clean bowled by promising young spinner Graeme Cremer.

The next man in was Rahul Dravid, who had looked very much out of form in the triangular one-day series. Opposition bowlers, particularly Shane Bond, had easily made their way through his defence, usually so solid that he has earnt the nickname “The Wall”. Today though he had some much needed time in the middle, and by stumps he had joined in the century-making trend with an unbeaten 102.

Just before stumps, with the score on 335, Gambhir’s 126 came to an end when he was given out LBW to Anthony Ireland, a player who had showed some promise in the ODIs.

So at the end of the day, India were 365/2. Gambhir had top scored with 126, Sehwag with 123, and Dravid was unbeaten on a promising 102. Some Zimbabwe test bowlers would be a bit nervous at the moment.

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