Cheteshwar Pujara hit the ground running with a confident ton in his first outing on the West Indies tour but Ajinkya Rahane would be under pressure to hold on to his spot in the Test squad after a cheap dismissal in the warm up game against West Indies A at Coolidge on Saturday.
Having won the the T20 and one-day international series comfortably, India are looking to kick off their Test championship campaign with a series win in the Carribean and would have been hoping that their Test specialists struck early form.
The visitors decided to rest skipper Virat Kohli for the game and stand-in captain Rahane made the right call to elect to bat after winning the toss.
Openers KL Rahul (36) and Mayank Agarwal (12) gave India a decent start but both could not stay at the wicket for long, giving Rahane an opportunity to find his footing. But the Mumbai batsman, who has been struggling for the past couple of series, edged seamer Jonathan Carter to wicket-keeper Jahmar Hamilton with just one run on the board.
Rahane who has gone without a hundred for the past two years. His last three-figure knock came against a below-par Sri Lanka side in August, 2017. In the last 12 Test matches, he has crossed half-century mark only five times in 20 innings and with Rohit Sharma scoring freely, he would have to fight hard to keep his place in the playing XI.
Sharma made the most of the opportunity to bat early on Saturday as he scored a stroke-filled 68 and added 132 runs for the fourth wicket with Pujara, who scored an exact 100 in 187 balls with eight fours and a six before retiring hurt.
Hanuma Vihari (37 not out) and Rishabh Pant (33) then took the Indian total near the 300 run mark.
Brief Scores: India 1st Innings: 297/5 (Cheteshwar Pujara 100 retired hurt, Rohit Sharma 68; Jonathan Carter 3/39).
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