A timely 101 from KL Rahul and a resilient 75 from Ravindra Jadeja helped the Indian team recover from 107 for four and finish the opening day of the warm-up game against County Select XI on 306 for nine.
The Indian team were playing without skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane, both of whom sat out due to injury concerns, and had hiccups in the first session. At a crucial moment, Rahul and Jadeja fought it out, forging a 127-run stand for the fifth wicket. The partnership ended when Rahul opted to retire out and let others have a bat.
Rahul's knock was more fluent as he brought his 101 runs off only 150 deliveries, lacing it with 11 fours and a solitary six. Ravindra Jadeja (75 off 146 balls) also played his part to perfection.
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma (9), his likely opening partner in Nottingham, Mayank Agarwal (28), veteran Cheteshwar Pujara (21) and Hanuma Vihari (24) didn't spend enough time at the crease in the designated first-class game.
Among the quartet, Agarwal looked fluent as he smashed his teammate Avesh Khan, representing the 'home team' for a number of boundaries, before pacer Lyndon James castled him. Pujara played his own game but having spent close to an hour, he was stumped beautifully by the wicketkeeper off the bowling of the offie, Jack Carson. Pujara must be disappointed with the dismissal given he has an excellent record against off-spin bowling in Test cricket.
Vihari's impatience in the post-lunch session cost him dearly as he filed to clear the mid-off off left-arm spinner Liam Patterson-White. But before that, he ensured a rasping straight drive had caused Avesh a suspected left thumb dislocation. The other Indian player representing the 'County XI', Washington Sundar wasn't offered an opportunity to bowl.
However, the day belonged to Rahul, who dispatched the opposition bowlers to all parts of the ground en route to his 15th first-class hundred. Initially, he played a lot of shots square off the wicket - there were square cuts off Avesh, back-cut off James using the pace of their deliveries while the drive on the up through mid-off to a Craig Miles delivery was a treat to watch. When spinners were on operation, left-arm orthodox Patterson-White was hit for a six that soared over deep mid-wicket and went out of the ground.
He went into the 90s by stepping out and lofting Carson towards long-off boundary and a back-foot punch off Patterson-White towards mid-wicket boundary got him his hundred. The century doesn't ensure a ticket into the playing XI for Nottingham but Rahul has done enough to keep himself under consideration. One would think that Rahul played this game only because both Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha were forced into quarantine and hence, missed this game.
Jadeja also played the second fiddle but didn't let go off the loose deliveries, hitting five fours and a six before Miles dismissed him. Pacer Miles was the most successful bowler for County XI with three wickets while teammate James and Patterson-White got a couple of scalps each.