Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane roared back to form on Tuesday and led from the front with a solid hundred in Ranji Trophy Group B match against Hyderabad.
Mumbai dominated the first day's play after being put into bat with Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahane and Suryakumar Yadav virtually batting the opposition out of contention.
Opener Prithvi Shaw was the only batter who couldn't cash-in and got out for 19 before Jaiswal kick-started the run-fest with Surya.
The duo added 153 runs for the second wicket before Surya got out for 90 off 80 balls. Jaiswal then joined forces with Rahane to stitch another 206 runs. Jaiswal ended up with 162 off 195 balls before getting out to Mehrotra Shashank.
Rahane then carried the innings forward and helped Mumbai go past the 400-run mark, scoring his 38th first-class hundred along the way. Rahane remained unbeaten on 139 off 190 balls with Sarfaraz Khan not out on 40 at the other end as Mumbai reached 457 for 3 at stumps on Day 1.
Rahane came out with positive intent and batted with a lot of fluency, hitting 18 fours and 2 sixes as he stitched two crucial partnerships with Jaiswal and Khan (75).
Jinks shows he's still good enough
Out-of-favour Rahane has knocked on the Indian team selectors' doors with his latest knock. He had managed just 44 runs in the Ranji first round against Andhra Pradesh.
This innings also comes at an important time for Rahane as India are set to take on Australia in a four-Test series on home soil in February-March.
The 34-year-old's fitness is still among the fittest Indian players but needs heaps of runs in domestic cricket to stake a claim for a place in the Indian Test side.
Rahane has not played for India since being dropped from the squad after the January Test series in South Africa this year.
But runs in the Ranji Trophy would certainly make it impossible for the selectors to ignore Rahane, who had led India to a historic series win Down Under when India last played Australia in the Border-Gavaskar series in 2020-21.
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