India’s Shubman Gill pushes Test claims; Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant hit tons

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Sydney: India’s Shubman Gill pushed his claims to make his debut in the opening Test against Australia in Adelaide with a classy 65 in the practice game at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the touring side’s batsmen made merry against their injury-hit opponents on Saturday (December 12).

The 21-year-old Gill, who has played three one-day internationals, looked solid during his 78-ball knock at number three to build on the 43 he scored against Australia A in the day-night tune-up before Thursday’s (December 17) first test.

Gill, who opened for India last week in the Canberra one-dayer, could replace Prithvi Shaw, who fell to a rash shot for three after making 40 in the first innings. Regular India opener Mayank Agarwal also spent time in the middle during his knock of 61 while Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant made unbeaten centuries.

After Australian all-rounder and test hopeful, Cameron Green was ruled out due to concussion on Friday, the local side also lost seamer Sean Abbott to injury as India moved on to 386 for four, extending their lead to 472 in the three-day match.

Vihari accumulated his runs patiently at number four, a position which will be vacant after Adelaide when India captain Virat Kohli flies home for the birth of his child, to remain unbeaten on 104. Pant provided the fireworks with his unbeaten 103, which was studded with nine fours and six sixes under the lights at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The diminutive batsmen was on 81 in the final over of the day but smashed four fours and a six off the last five deliveries to complete his hundred in 73 balls and put his name in the mix for the wicketkeeper’s spot in the test side.

Brief scores: India XI 194 & 386/4 (Hanuma Vihari 104*, Rishabh Pant 103*; Mark Steketee 2-54) lead Australia A 108 by 472 runs.

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