Jaipur: Two centuries - an aggressive, substantial one from Shikhar Dhawan and a solid, unbeaten one from Ajinkya Rahane - almost ensured that Rest of India couldn't lose the Irani Cup outright. They scored quickly on the opening day against Ranji Trophy champions Rajasthan, lost only three wickets, and amassed 400 by stumps in Jaipur.
Dhawan scored 177 off 165 balls, an innings that contained 32 fours and one six. Having been dropped from India's one-day squad after the tour of West Indies, Dhawan did not waste this opportunity to stake his claim again. He added 190 runs for the second wicket with Rahane, who adapted smoothly to the change in format. Having impressed during the limited-overs games in England, Rahane switched into five-day mode and batted with patience to end the day on 117 off 212 balls. He will have to revert to one-day mode against England after the Irani Cup tie is settled.
Rajasthan's bowlers struggled, with last season's hero Deepak Chahar going wicketless for 120 runs in 21 overs. His new-ball partner Aniket Choudhary also conceded more than four an over in 17 overs.