Chennai, Feb 16 (IANS) Dropped from the national Test squad, opening batsman Gautam Gambhir sent a strong message to the selectors with a fine 112 for India A on the first day of the three-day cricket match against Australians at the Guru Nanak College Ground here Saturday.
At the close of play, India A were 338/4 having played the day's quota of 90 overs.
Electing to bat first, skipper Gambhir and Punjab batsman Jiwanjot Singh gave a good start to the home side with a 67-run opening wicket partnership before Jiwanjot fell for 24.
Gambhir then forged a 128-run partnership with Rohit Sharma, who also hit a splendid 77 which included eight boundaries and three sixes.
Displaying excellent batting form, Delhi's Gambhir hit 13 boundaries and three sixes in his knock off 162 balls before finally being caught off the bowling of medium pacer Moises Henriques.
Bengal batsman Manoj Tiwary provided good support to Sharma as he kept the scoreboard ticking and pushed India A past 300.
Australians' left arm orthodox bowler Xavier Doherty was the pick of the bowlers picking three wickets - Jiwanjot, Sharma and Abhishek Nayar (4) - for 69 runs in his 16 overs.
At stumps, Tiwary and wicketkeeper batsman Muralidharen Gautam were batting at 77 and 34, respectively.