Back from injury break, Shikhar Dhawan looked in fluent touch as he hit six crisp boundaries in his unbeaten 29 with Delhi finishing the first day’s play at 37 for no loss against Rajasthan in a Ranji Trophy group B encounter.
This was after Rajasthan were bowled out for 238 in their first innings as the pace trio of Navdeep Saini (3/28 in 15 overs), Vikas Tokas (3/48 in 16 overs) and Sumit Narwal (2/41 in 15 overs) shared the bulk of the spoils.
But the focus on the day was the brief period when Dhawan batted as he hit some delectable drives through the off.
The left-hander, who has now fully recuperated from a thumb fracture will like to spend considerable time in the middle and keep himself in contention for a comeback in the Indian side.
Earlier, Gambhir won the toss but Rajasthan never looked in control save opener Amitkumar Gautam (106) whose 182-ball knock had 15 boundaries and two sixes.
Save the 56-run stand between Gautam and Deepak Chahar (47), none of the other Rajasthan batsmen showed temperament to stick around in the face of some incisive swing bowling by Navdeep, who is back after an injury lay-off.
Veteran Sumit Narwal also was useful with the new ball bowling incutters to the right-handed batsmen accounting for Manender Singh and Rajesh Bishnoi.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan 1st Innings 238 (Amitkumar Gautam 106, Deepak Chahar 47, Navdeep Saini 3/28)
Delhi 1st innings 37/0 (Shikhar Dhawan 29).