Lokesh Rahul made a strong case for the No. 4 slot and Mahendra Singh Dhoni played some breathtaking strokes while scoring hundreds each as India easily beat Bangladesh by 95 runs in their final World Cup warm-up, in Cardiff, on Tuesday.
After another insipid show by the openers, Rahul (108 off 99 balls) and Dhoni (113 off 78 balls) counter-attacked a potent Bangladesh bowling line-up, which had reduced the side to 102 for four in 22 overs, to enable India amass 359 for 7.
In reply, Bangladesh were dismissed for 264 in 49.3 overs, Yuzvendra Chahal (3 for 55) and Kuldeep Yadav (3 or 47) doing the bulk of the damage with their spin. In fact, it was a walk in the park for India, whose pacers -- Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar -- bowled only 14 out of the 49.3 overs.
Barring Liton Das (73) and Mushfiqur Rahim (90), who added 120 runs for the third wicket, Bangladesh's other batsmen never really got going charge.
While Shikhar Dhawan (5) was back in the hut after being adjudged plumb in-front by Mustafizur Rahaman, Rohit Sharma (19 off 42 balls) struggled for the better part of his stay, even as skipper Virat Kohli looked solid at the other end before being dismissed for 47 off 46 balls.
Rahul and Dhoni added 164 runs with contrasting approaches, which yielded favourable results for the title contenders.
Dhoni used the platform created by Rahul to launch a brutal assault in the final overs to take the score past 350.
Rahul was solid from the beginning and found the gaps with ease, hitting 12 boundaries and four sixes.
Dhoni's innings had eight boundaries and as many as seven sixes.
With the composed Dhoni dealing with the singles and the occasional boundary, Rahul was in his flowing self during his stay at the crease.
However, after the first 25 balls off which Dhoni scored 24, he suddenly changed gears, attacking young off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraj and Bangladesh was left ducking for cover.
Rahul started with a cut off Abu Jayed followed by an off-drive. Jayed repeatedly provided him width and he beat the off-side cordon with ease.
When Shakib Al Hasan bowled short, he was dispatched over the mid-wicket fence for a maximum.
The rusty Shakib (2/58 in 6 overs) was taken to task by both Rahul and Dhoni, who got easy runs off the world's No. 1 ranked all-rounder. Rahul hit Mustafizur (1/43 in 8 overs) for two sixes over square leg before being dismissed by Sabbir Rahaman's part-time spin in the 44th over.
Dhoni then took over and the last overs produced 91 runs, the veteran taking Rubel Hossain (2/62 in 8 overs) to the cleaners in the 45th and 47th overs, scoring 25 runs.
In between, the 46th over from Sabbir fetched India 15 runs.
Dhoni’s century came with a signature six -- a down the ground shot off a length delivery from Jayed.