16 Dec 2011

Indian bowlers struggle in tour opener

6:03 am on 16 December 2011

The Indian cricketers struggled on the opening day of their tour of Australia in Canberra.

India's bowlers took a hammering and paceman Ishant Sharma failed to complete six overs as he suffered a problem as an Australian Chairman's eleven rattled up 398 for six declared on the first day.

India won the toss and chose to bowl first in the two-day tour match at Manuka Oval, one of two warm-up matches they will play in the Australian capital before the first of four tests starts on Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Right-arm paceman Umesh Yadav, who impressed in his first test series against West Indies last month, was the pick of the Indian bowlers, taking three wickets at a cost of 39 runs.

The India side, which boasts a strong batting line-up featuring Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, will have the same number of overs, requiring 399 for victory today.

Sharma bowled the first over but made a couple of trips off the pitch before departing for good midway through his sixth. A team spokesman said he had not suffered an injury.

India, who have never won a test series in Australia, play a three day match against a more experienced Chairman's XI on the same pitch starting next Monday.