Vijay hits century but India's bowlers struggle

Murali Vijay hits a shot on the fourth day of the tour match against Cricket Australia XI at the SCG in Sydney on December 1, 2018. (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

Murali Vijay hit a stylish century on Saturday to strengthen his bid to open the batting in the first Test against Australia after India's rusty bowlers struggled against a young CA XI.

The veteran was dropped after the second Test against England this year but has fought his way back into contention through a spell with Essex.

And with a nasty ligament injury on Friday ruling young opener Prithvi Shaw out of the Adelaide Test next week, he grabbed his chance with both hands, smashing 16 fours and five sixes in compiling 129.

KL Rahul, who is expected to face the new ball in Adelaide alongside either Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, or even uncapped Mayank Agarwal, made 62 in their 212-2 total.

The four-day match at the Sydney Cricket Ground was India's last hit out before the Test and it ended in a draw after the CA XI made a mammoth 544 in reply to the visitor's first innings 358.

The big total from the home batsmen was a reality check for India's bowlers, who failed to impress.

Pacemen Umesh Yadav (1-113) and Ishant Sharma (1-73), and chief spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2-122) were all expensive, but they at least got plenty of valuable practice.

Little-known Harry Nielsen was a thorn in their side, coming in at number six to hit exactly 100. It took skipper and very occasional bowler Virat Kohli to dismiss him.

Three other batsmen -- D'Arcy Short, Aaron Hardie and Max Bryant -- made half centuries.

The first of India's four-Test series gets underway on Thursday.

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Vijay hits century but India's bowlers struggle

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