India star Cheteshwar Pujara scored another century on the day he took over the Sussex captaincy.

Pujara is in charge on an interim basis while Tom Haines recovers from a broken hand.

Haines is likely to miss about six weeks which includes the Royal London Cup.

Pujara is leading the side, rather than Steven Finn, against Middlesex at Lord’s.

He lost his first toss but centuries from the stand-in skipper himself and Tom Alsop put the county on top after they were surprisingly asked to bat first in temperatures of about 40degC.

Sussex head coach Ian Salisbury said: “Puj was very keen to step up in the absence of Tom.

“He sees the potential in this side and has been a natural leader ever since he joined.

“Finny did a brilliant job for us after Tom was injured and will remain the senior figure among our bowlers.

“By having a batter take up the role, it means Finn can focus on leading our attack.

“Puj is a vastly experienced and quality person who I know will do a fantastic job.”

Finn took over in charge during the draw with Leicestershire last week after Haines was forced to retire on the first day.

But the former England bowler was able to watch from the pavilion back at his old home ground yesterday as Pujara (125 not out) and Alsop (135) shared a third-wicket stand of 219 in Sussex’s 328-4.

Sussex batting coach Grant Flower said: “Chet’s used to the heat, Tom not as much but his fitness came through and he made some really good decisions under pressure.

“It’s going to be really important how we bowl with that new ball.”

It was Alsop’s second century in three innings and Pujara’s fifth in his last nine.