Leicestershire hosted India for a four-day tour match ahead of the visitors’ Test against England. The hosts displayed an exhibition of Indian culture with bhangra, dhols, and vibrant music. After the end of play on the fourth day, Leicestershire head coach Paul Nixon and former England cricketer Phillip Defreitas enthusiastically accompanied the performers and joined in the celebrations.
The Uptonsteel County Ground turned into a music fiesta as the Queen classic ‘We will rock you’ echoed around the stadium. Nixon and Defreitas tried to play along with the euphonic beats on the dhols.
Head coach steals the show 🥁😂
— Leicestershire Foxes 🏏 (@leicsccc) June 26, 2022
India visited Leicestershire for a warm-up match, which was part of the preparations for the rescheduled fifth Test against England in Birmingham. Several Indian players played for Leicestershire, while Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill, batted for both sides. India declared after posting a total of 246 runs in the first innings thanks to a gritty inning from Srikar Bharat who scored an unbeaten 70 off 111 deliveries.
In reply, Leicestershire managed to score 244 runs before getting bundled over by the Indian bowlers. Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja picked up three wickets each while Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj bagged a couple of wickets.
The highlight of this innings was the battle between Rishabh Pant and the Indian seamers. Pant seemed clueless at the start as Shami and Umesh Yadav were on song and swung the ball in both directions. But once he got settled he smashed the pacers in his own flamboyant style and scored a blistering knock of 76 in 87 balls.
Half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja helped India to put up a score of 364 runs in the second innings. Chasing a target of 367 on the final day of play, Gill stepped up and played a quick-fire knock of 62 runs while showcasing some imperious shots. The match ended in a draw and the Indian squad looks geared up for their final showdown against England for the last Test.
However, they were handed a huge setback, when skipper Rohit Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 on the last day of the match. Rohit is in isolation and will be a major doubt for the upcoming Test. Earlier, Rohit’s opening partner KL Rahul was ruled out of the Test match following his knee injury.
The opening pair of Rohit and Rahul played key roles in securing a 2-1 lead over England. While Rohit smashed a sublime century at the Oval, Rahul had his name inscribed on the Lord’s honors board after scoring a match-winning century. In-form batters Shubhman Gill and Srikant Bharat could be the replacement for the opening pair in the final Test match.