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Cricket: India bowlers suffer again

India's bowlers endured another tough day on their tour of England as a second-string Derbyshire line-up piled on the runs on the opening day of their three-day tour match.

LONDON: India's bowlers endured another tough day on their tour of England as a second-string Derbyshire line-up piled on the runs on the opening day of their three-day tour match on Tuesday.

At stumps in Derby, the home side had amassed 326 for five -- this after Leicestershire had piled up 349 for five in the first match of India's tour of England, which ended in a draw last weekend.

As was the case in Leicester, India again stripped this match of its first-class status by rotating their 18-man squad in what is their final warm-up match before next week's first of a five-Test series against England at Trent Bridge.

Spearhead seamer Ishant Sharma suffered fresh no-ball problems following his struggles at Grace Road, with the tall paceman over-stepping eight times in an initial spell of 9-0-41-0.

Derbyshire won the toss and, having opted to bat first saw Wes Durston lead the way with 95 from just 90 balls.

He was one of four batsmen to pass 50 despite none of them having made a single first-class appearance in the past two months.

Durston, Billy Godleman (67no), young opener Ben Slater (54) and 17-year-old wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein (53 no) all made runs against India's attack.

India batting great Rahul Dravid, now acting as a consultant to the tourists, said before his appointment he was concerned about a potential lack of intensity in the two warm-up matches.

But Durston said: "I don't think he should be too worried about that.

"For us... it felt like a step up in standard.

"I guess when you play 16 or 18, you're not going to have the same intensity when people are coming on and off and you have a different team out there from lunch to the middle of the afternoon.

"It is what it is, a tour game...

"I'm sure when England tour, against the president's XIs or A teams, everyone is trying to make a statement against an international side.

"That's what we've tried to do."

As for Sharma's struggles, Durston said: "He did bowl a number of no-balls. Maybe he's striving for a bit of rhythm, or losing his run-up or something.

"But it's not through a lack of trying."

The same, he believes, is true of the India collective.

"They've run in all day, and worked hard.

"It's probably not the greatest wicket for them to apply their skills -- but they've kept coming... and it's hard to really judge them on that."

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