Newport: India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane had a memorable English County debut, scoring a hundred for Hampshire against Nottinghamshire in a Division One game on Wednesday.
Rahane thus became the third Indian to score a hundred on county debut after Piyush Chawla, for Sussex against Worcestershire and Murali Vijay for Essex against Nottinghamshire.
Rahane, who had scored just 10 in the first innings, struck a patient 119 off 260 balls, hit 14 boundaries and shared a 257-run stand for the third wicket with Sam Northeast, who was unbeaten on 131 at tea on the third day.
CENTURY: A phenomenal knock from @ajinkyarahane88! 💯👏
What an effort it's been on debut, his century coming off 179 balls with 12 fours - 219-2 (290 ahead).
📲 iOS: https://t.co/3H80EnOA4p
— Hampshire Cricket (@hantscricket) May 22, 2019
Rahane came in at No 3 in the fifth over of the innings and was dismissed by off-spinner Matthew Carter at the stroke of tea in the 70th over.
In between, he saw off England seamer Stuart Broad's testing first spell and showed a lot of patience waiting for the loose deliveries at the Newport ground.
In fact, Rahane reached his hundred with a cover drive off Carter that fetched him two runs. The celebration was muted. This was his 30th first-class hundred.
Apart from Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin will also be playing in the Division One of the Championship for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire respectively.
The BCCI wants the Test specialists to have enough game time before they embark on tour of West Indies, where they will play two Tests as a part of World Test Championship.
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The 33-year-old middle-order batsman said India deserved to be in the WTC final on the back of a consistent showing in the last two years.
Will Young shared stands of 122 with opener Devon Conway (80) and 92 with Ross Taylor (46 not out).
Ashwin spoke about how WTC has provided a context to Test cricket and would love to see more traditional format games in neutral venues.