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Indians struggle on opening day.

MELBOURNE: Rain and a second-string Victoria bowling attack conspired to severely curtail the touring Indian cricket team's preparations here yesterday for the Boxing Day Test against Australia.

The Indians only had one session at the crease to reach 110 for three before rain forced play to be abandoned late on the first day of the three-day lead-up game at Junction Oval.

The tourists recovered from 38 for three after morning rain prevented any play in the first scheduled session.

Another heavy downpour during the tea break then finished off the day early.

India only have two days left in this match before taking on Australia, but showers are forecast on both days, which could cause havoc with their preparation.

Former captain Rahul Dravid said India would have liked another warm-up match before the Melbourne Cricket Ground Test and were at the mercy of the weather.

"We just have to wait and see how the weather pans out over the next couple of days," Dravid said.

"We would obviously have preferred a little bit better weather and some more cricket leading into the first Test, but we just have to do the best with what we've got and try to make the best of it."

Dravid rated the Junction Oval wicket as slow and said India had some adjusting to do.

"It definitely was noticeable," he said of the change in bounce from the three home Tests against Pakistan.

"You play on the back foot and you expect the ball to hit the middle of the bat and it sometimes hits the splice, so it's a case of getting used to that a little bit."

Left-arm medium pacer Allan Wise, who has struggled to break into Victoria's four-day side this season, finished the day with three for 22.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:May 1, 2008
Words:311
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