Bowling boost for India

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India received a boost on the final day of their tour match against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI when Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan showed signs of form and fitness.

India received a boost on the final day of their tour match against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI when Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan showed signs of form and fitness.

With the match heading for a draw, an agreement was made for both sides to bat 30 overs on the third and final day since the fixture was not a first-class match.

While the Indians failed to take a wicket, Ishant bowled four overs to strengthen his chances of inclusion for the Boxing Day Test after he had failed to take the field in the first innings, while Zaheer bowled with greater control to concede just 13 runs in five overs.

The Chairman's XI declared on their overnight total of 215 for seven, which had been based on Ed Cowan's century, and struck early to remove both Virender Sehwag and Ajinkya Rahane.

However Gautam Gambhir, whose form remains a slight worry for India going into the first Test, hit 42 not out to guide the tourists to 90 for two as he added 76 with Rohit Sharma.

The Chairman's XI were therefore set 146 to win in their 30 overs, but started slowly as Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja took the cautious approach.

Both men were dropped from the Australian squad for the Boxing Day Test, replaced by Ed Cowan and Shaun Marsh, but were unbeaten when the Chairman's XI innings came to a close on 100 without loss.

Khawaja hit seven fours in an unbeaten 56, while Hughes was 42 not out when the match ended in a draw.

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