With India struggling to forge a dependable opening combination, Karnataka opener Robin Uthappa served another reminder of his eligibility for the position with a stroke-filled century against Saurashtra.
Coming into this match with 723 runs from six matches — the highest this year — Uthappa cracked his fifth career century, the season’s fifth. The 21-year-old right-hander's 108 from 109 balls with 18 fours and a six, and his 167-run partnership with C Raghu for the second wicket, saw Karnataka reach 329 for four at stumps.
Also contributing to Karnataka's dominance over a depleted Saurashtra attack was Rahul Dravid. The Indian captain batted freely to make 56 to get into some sort of form after a rare slump in South Africa.
No. 3 was perhaps Dravid's designated slot here, but Raghu was sent ahead after opener Barrington Rowland edged an away-going delivery from Sandeep Maniar in the day's second over. Raghu did his job admirably with a resolute innings.
Uthappa batted the way he usually does, attacking right from the start. He struck 15 boundaries in the first session to take lunch with his individual score on 86 out of the team total of 142.
Karnataka 1st innings 329/4 (Robin Uthappa 108, C Raghu 83, Rahul Dravid 56, Yere Goud batting 38; Kamlesh Makvana 2/129).