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 in Newport 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.
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.