Ajinkya Rahane Murali Vijay England Lions India A
Ajinkya Rahane (left) and Murali Vijay © AFP (file photo)

Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane took field in the four-day match for India A against England Lions at New Road, Worcester. Vijay opened batting with Prithvi Shaw, and struggled for a while before being trapped leg-before by Essex seamer Jamie Porter shortly afterwards, for 8. The conditions were not exactly difficult for batting: Shaw had raced to a 32-ball 29 at the other end.

Yorkshire seamer Matthew Porter got Mayank Agarwal and captain Karun Nair at the other end, leaving India A reeling at 50 for 3. Shaw, however, refused to get bogged down. His 86-ball 66 included 8 fours, and was scored out of the 93 India A got during his stay at the crease.

Ajinkya Rahane scratched for an 85-ball 26 not out by stumps. Rishabh Pant, who arrived much later, dazzled with a 57-ball unbeaten 37, which included a six off left-arm spinner Jack Leach. Leach had made his Test debut earlier this year, at Christchurch.

With the Test squad to be announced today, Vijay is definitely in contention for an opener’s slot, while Shaw does have an outside chance. Rahane’s overseas record may make up for his poor form, and Pant is definitely an option for wicketkeeper’s slot in the absence of Wriddhiman Saha.

Earlier in the day, England Lions were bowled out for 423, set up by Alastair Cook’s faultless 180. England Lions lost their last 8 wickets for 78 with Mohammad Siraj taking 4 wickets and Shahbaz Nadeem 3.

Brief scores:

England Lions 423 (Alastair Cook 180, Nick Gubbins 73, Dawid Malan 74; Mohammad Siraj 4 for 79, Shahbaz Nadeem 3 for 46) lead India A 144 for 4 (Prithvi Shaw 62; Matthew Fisher 2 for 24) by 279 runs.