Rahul scores century in India warm-up match against County XI

LONDON: KL Rahul (pix) scored a hundred as an India side without the injured Virat Kohli made 306-9 on the opening day of their three-day match against a County Select XI at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday.

The hastily-arranged fixture has been designed to give India some match practice ahead of a five-Test series against England starting next month.

It comes after India captain Kohli lamented a lack of recent red-ball cricket following his side’s defeat by New Zealand in last month’s inaugural World Test Championship final in Southampton.

On Tuesday, Nottinghamshire’s Lyndon James had a day to remember as he dismissed stand-in captain Rohit Sharma and his fellow opener Mayank Agarwal before Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari fell to spin.

But Rahul pressed on before retiring on 101, with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja making 75.

Kohli felt some stiffness in his back late on Monday and was told to rest by the Board of Control for Cricket in India medical team.

Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane also missed out due to what the BCCI said was mild swelling around his left upper hamstring.

The board added this had been dealt with by an injection, with the batsman expected to recover “well in time” for the first Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham starting on August 4.

India’s Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan are set to play for the County Select XI after the England and Wales Cricket Board asked the tourists’ management for the loan of two players after some of the original County XI selections were ruled out through injury or because they were close contacts of someone who had tested positive for Covid-19.

This match will see the India team wear black armbands in memory of Yashpal Sharma, a member of the India side that won the 1983 World Cup, following his death from a heart attack aged 66 on July 13. – AFP