Hanuma Vihari scored a century and Cheteshwar Pujara fell 8 runs short of a ton but the rest of India’s batting line-up flattered to deceive in the first day of the three-day warm-up match against a New Zealand XI at Hamilton on Friday (February 14).
India were dismissed for 263 in 78.5 overs with both the top and middle-order failing to do much to press their case for inclusion in India’s playing XI for the first Test against New Zealand on February 21 at Wellington.
Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal, who opened for India during the recently-concluded ODI series that the visitors lost 3-0, were sent out to begin proceedings for the visitors but only managed scores of 0 and 1 respectively.
Shubman Gill, another potential opener in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma, also failed to carry on his good run of form from the India A series and was dismissed for a first-ball duck.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane then fell for just 18 off 30 balls, reducing India to 38-4 before Pujara (92) and Vihari (101) put together a 195-run stand to save India from what seemed like a collapse.
Pujara was eventually dismissed before reaching triple figures but Vihari had no trouble bringing up his ton, although he was run out shortly after reaching the milestone.
The 26-year old’s dismissal triggered a lower-order collapse. Rishabh Pant, who has been dropped from the white-ball sides in favour of KL Rahul keeping wickets, scored just 7 before going for a big shot and holing out.
Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin were both dismissed for ducks whereas Umesh Yadav (9) and Ravindra Jadeja (8) couldn’t stick around long enough to take India past the 300-run mark.
Ish Sodi (3-72) Scott Kuggeleijn (3-40) were the pick of the bowlers for the hosts.