Rohit, Raina hit tons, India 'A' pile on runs

NEW DELHI, Aug. 19 -- With batting expected to pose the biggest challenge when India tour South Africa at the end of the year, they seem to be ticking the most important box. India 'A' batsmen powered on for the second day of the four-day unofficial Test against South Africa 'A' at Rustenburg on Sunday. After skipper Cheteshwar Pujara weighed in with 137, it was the turn of two batsmen who are desperate to ensure they are in the mix when the senior Test team is picked. Rohit Sharma, well-set overnight, made out a strong case by scoring 119 with Suresh Raina contributing 135. India 'A' piled up 582 for 9 before declaring the innings. The hosts were 20 for one at stumps.

Rohit Sharma, often blamed for throwing it away when well set with the opposing bowlers at his mercy, played the anchor to perfection. He was at the crease for five-and-half hours, facing 257 balls. Although the South Africa attack will be potent, the focus should stand him in good stead. Having added 176 for the third wicket with Pujara overnight, he raised another 106 runs with the Raina before falling to JP Duminy.

Brief scores India 'A' 582/9 decl in 163 overs (Pujara 137, Sharma 119, Raina 135, Parnell 3/89, Duminy 3/80); South Africa 'A' 20/1 in 9 overs.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.