India returns to the field

India enjoy a good day against an Invitational side in Australia.

    The man in the middle: Harbhajan Singh, left, leaves the field after being dismissed

    India's players returned to the playing field when they took on an Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Invitational XI in their first outing since their tour of Australia was plunged into chaos.

    The tourists showed little effects from missing two days training while the tour was under suspension as they racked up a handsome total of 325 for nine.

    India declared late in the day at Manuka Oval, the ACT replying with 10-0 when stumps were drawn.

    Opener Wasim Jaffer enhanced his chances of playing in next week's third test in Perth with a gritty 92 after a string of low scores in the first two tests but threw his wicket away when a century beckoned.

    Jaffer struck eight fours and two sixes and also shared a 66-run stand with Virender Sehwag, who made 24 from 49 balls after being given the chance to push for test selection.

    Rahul Dravid made 62 after being dropped down the order following his promotion to makeshift opener for the test series.

    However, out-of-form middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh failed again when he made just two.

    Acting captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed 38 off 37 balls while Harbhajan Singh made a third-ball duck after being cleared to play by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

    Harbhajan was banned for three matches after he was found guilty of racially abusing Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds during last week's second test in Sydney.

    Harbhajan has denied the charges and lodged an appeal, allowing him to play until the case is finished.

    The Indian board had threatened to abort the tour unless the ICC dropped the charges, but continued after the ICC agreed to a number of concessions, including the sacking of West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor.

    Australia names unchanged side

    Meanwhile, Australia have named an unchanged squad for the third test against India.

    While the selectors retained the 12 players who were picked for the first two tests, there may be some changes to the starting 11.

    Spin bowler Brad Hogg faces a possible ban after being charged for using abusive language in the second test but may be dropped regardless of the outcome if Australia opt for an extra fast bowler in Shaun Tait on the bouncy WACA pitch.

    Opening batsmen Matthew Hayden is also a doubt due to a leg problem.

    Hayden scored centuries in each of the first two tests but was unable to field on the last day and faces a fitness test.

    The Test begins on January 16.

    Australia squad:

    Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Phil Jaques, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Shaun Tait.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.