Indians' top-order got some solid practice in the first warm-up fixture against English County side Leicestershire, as Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir and Cheteshwar Pujara struck elegant fifties at the Grace Road Ground on Thursday.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after winning the toss, elected to bat first and his decision proved right when openers Murali Vijay and Dhawan laid a strong foundation for the visitors. They put up a 46 runs stand for the first wicket and dealt with the new-ball pretty well.
Dhawan, however, was dropped in the first over, but the southpaw after that got into the groove and put up an attacking display and struck 12 fours in his 100 balls 60. The 28-year-old was forced to retire hurt, when a rising delivery of left-arm pacer Atif Sheikh struck Dhawan on the elbow.
The Indian team management has clarified that the left-hander is fine and there are no injury concerns.
Earlier, after the departure of Vijay, who edged a wide delivery and caught in gully, comeback-man Gambhir and his Delhi teammate made a 119-run partnership for the second wicket. Gambhir, after a nervy start, looked solid and pushed the ball into the gaps and scored freely.
The 32-year-old was comfortable while playing the second-string Leicestershire attack and after stroking his 101 ball 54, immediately decided to retire. He and Pujara (57 retired out) stitched a 62 runs partnership for the third wicket.
Leicestershire bowlers failed to maintain consistent line and length against the star-studded Indian battling line up. The only mistake of the day happened when Virat Kohli (29) misread Shiv Thakor's full length delivery, which knocked out his off stump.
Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma made an unbeaten 74 runs partnership for the 5th wicket and helped Indians reach 333 for four on the first day. Both Rahane and Rohit played aggressively and the former almost raced to the fastest fifty of the day, but Dhoni declared the innings.
Rahane also played aggressively and started by hitting four back-to-back boundaries. He finished three runs short of a half-century, while Rohit made an effortless 64 balls 43, featuring five fours and one six.
Anthony Ireland and Thakor picked one wicket each for the hosts, while three Indian batsmen were retired hurt.
After this three-day match, Indians will play Derbyshire at County Ground in their second warm-up match before facing England in the first Test match, starting July 9 at Trent Bridge.
Where to Watch Live Scores:
The second day's action between Leicestershire and India is scheduled for 10:00 am local time (3:30 pm IST, 2:00 pm GMT and 4:30 am ET) start. Catch the live scores and ball-by-ball updates HERE, HERE or HERE. The action can also be listened live on BBC HERE, HERE or HERE.