Stand-in wicketkeeper KL Rahul’s century (101 off 150 balls) and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s half-century (75 off 146 balls) were the highlights of the first day of Indian Test team’s warm-up against County Select XI as the visiting side, captained by Rohit Sharma in the absence of injured Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, went to stumps at 306 for nine.
The Indians, who won the toss and had elected to bat, lost the wickets of openers Rohit Sharma (9 off 33 balls) and Mayank Agarwal (28 off 35 balls) before the team could reach 50. They then lost Cheteshwar Pujara for 21. The No. 3 batsman was out stumped to off-spinner Jack Carson.
Hanuma Vihari, who batted at No. 4, the spot occupied by Kohli, made 24 before he threw away his wicket to left-arm spinner Liam Patterson-White, giving a simple catch to mid-off.
Rahul, who is keeping wickets since both Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha are in isolation, walked in to bat at No. 5 and reeled off boundaries. He hit 11 fours and a six and added 127 runs with Jadeja for the fourth wicket.
Interestingly, the Indians took 41 runs off pace bowler Avesh Khan’s 9.5 overs. Khan and all-rounder Washington Sundar were asked to represent County Select XI following a request from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who could not assemble a playing XI due to injuries and Covid-19. Khan had to leave the field after his thumb was injured from a shot by Vihari.
Once Rahul was retired out after crossing his century, Jadeja tried to stitch a partnership with Shardul Thakur (20). The two added 48 for the sixth wicket. India lost the next three wickets for 20 runs.
Craig Miles was the most successful bowler for the host as he removed Jadeja, Axar Patel and Thakur to end the day with 3/42.
Apart from Kohli and Rahane, the Indians are also without Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and R Ashwin.
Brief scores: Indians 306/9 in 90 overs (KL Rahul 101, R Jadeja 75, C Miles 3/42) vs County Select XI.