With regular India skipper Virat Kohli set to miss the major part of the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia, it was a hundred the whole of India would have hoped for from Ajinkya Rahane. The classy middle-order batsman came up with the goods when the side needed it the most on a pitch that had some help for the bowlers. <p></p> <p></p>Rahane scored an unbeaten 108* at stumps on Day 1 of the ongoing practice game at Sydney. Rahane's knock was laced with 16 fours and a six off James Pattinson with an uppercut. Not only will Rahane timely hundred clam the nerves of the tourists ahead of the red-ball series but also give the side hope in the absence of Kohli - who has been the premier batsman of the side. <p></p> <p></p>Also, what made the knock special was the fact that he came in at a time when the side was looking down the barrel at 116 for four. It was a typical Rahane knock where he put the bad balls away and defended the good balls. It was heartwarming to see Rahane timing the ball beautifully and leading from the front. He took responsibility and ensured that the tourists were not bundled out on an opening day. <p></p> <p></p>In the Tests, Rahane is in all probability going to lead the side and bat at No 4. <p></p> <p></p>Off late, Rahane has not lived up to his reputation and that is the reason he lost his spot in the limited-overs side. If Rahane goes on to score big runs during the Tests, the selectors may then be inclined to consider him in the shorter formats as India is still uncertain in the middle-order. <p></p> <p></p>At stumps on Day 1, India were 237 for eight. Rahane has Kuldeep for company and will resume battle tomorrow. .