SYDNEY, Dec 6: Ajinkya Rahane geared up for the much-anticipated four-Test series against Australia with a resolute century, steering India A to 237 for 8 against Australia A on the opening day of the first warm-up match here on Sunday.
Rahane (108 off 228 balls), leading the side, and Cheteshwar Pujara (54 off 140 balls), who will be India�s batting mainstay especially once Virat Kohli goes for paternity leave after the first Test, shared a 76-run stand for the fourth wicket after India A were reduced to 40 for 3 early on.
The Mumbaikar then added 69 with Kuldeep Yadav (15) to keep India A afloat.
Rahane, who won the toss and decided to bat, watched the ball closely and punished anything over-pitched or short to pick up 16 boundaries and a six during his long stay at the crease.
Returning to action after almost nine months, Pujara struck form right away and his innings was laced with five fours.
India A 1st Innings: Prithvi Shaw c Paine b James Pattinson 0, Shubman Gill c Marcus Harris b Neser 0, Cheteshwar Pujara c Marcus Harris b James Pattinson 54, Hanuma Vihari lbw b Bird 15, Ajinkya Rahane not out 108, Wriddhiman Saha lbw b Head 0, Ravichandran Ashwin lbw b James Pattinson 5, Kuldeep Yadav c Will Pucovski b Head 15, Umesh Yadav lbw b Neser 24, Mohammed Siraj not out 0. Extras: (B-1, LB-10, W-2, NB-3) 16. Total: (For 8 wickets in 90 overs) 237. Fall of wickets: 0-1, 6-2, 40-3, 116-4, 121-5, 128-6, 197-7, 235-8. Bowling: James Pattinson 19-5-58-3, Michael Neser 19-6-51-2, Jackson Bird 19-6-34-1, Cameron Green 8-4-9-0, Mark Steketee 14-3-50-0, Travis Head 11-3-24-2. � PTI