Test match specialist Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were the shining prospects in the three-day warm-up match against Australia A at the Durmmoyne Oval.
The duo scored bulk of runs as other batsmen failed to make any mark. Rahane scored a brilliant 108, while Pujara maded 54 despite playing his first competitive cricket match since the Ranji Trophy final against Bengal in March.
Opting to bat first, India A were off to a poor start with both openers Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill going out on ducks. Hanuma Vihari (15) looked comfortable at the middle but couldn’t stay long.
Reeling at 40/3, skipper Rahane joined Pujara. While the former took to the attacking gear from the word ‘go’, Pujara was at his usual self as he steadied the Indian innings.
Both the senior batsmen used all their experience to tackle the impressive bowling display on offer by the Australia ‘A’ bowlers.
The duo stitched together a 76-run partnership before Pujara was caught at leg-slip after contributing with 54 off 140 balls.
Wriddhiman Saha (0) and Ravichandran Ashwin (5) departed cheaply before spinner Kuldeep Yadav resurrected the innings and alongside Rahane, he added 69 runs for the seventh wicket.
Umesh Yadav played a nice cameo of 24 and stitched 38-run partnership during which Rahane reached his three-figure mark.
At the end of the day’s play, Rahane was unbeaten at 108 (228 balls; 16 fours and a six) and was accompanied by Mohammed Siraj at 0*.
For Australia ‘A’, James Pattinson was the pick of the bowlers as he scalped three wickets for 58 in his 19 overs. Michael Nesser and skipper Travis Head picked two wickets each.
Brief scores: India ‘A’: 237/8 (Ajinkya Rahane 108*, Cheteshwar Pujara 54; James Pattinson 3/58)
With IANS inputs