KL Rahul Scores Ton, Rohit Sharma Gets 83 as India Take Control at Lord's
KL Rahul was part of two century partnerships with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli on Day 1 at Lord's.
KL Rahul scored a sublime century and batted through the day to put India in a commanding position on Day 1 against England at Lord’s. When Stumps were drawn, India was 276/3 with Rahul (127) and Ajinkya Rahane (1) unbeaten.
Opener Rohit Sharma too played a fine knock, helping thwart the English attack, who were dealt a blow due to the injury of Stuart Broad. England, in overcast conditions, won the toss and opted to field first, however, the decision backfired against an immaculate batting performance in London.
Batting first, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma brought all their experience into play, shouldering arms whenever they saw fit, negotiating the first hour of the contest safely. Once the opening bit of pressure had been absorbed, Rohit and Rahul, who scored 14 runs in the first 12 overs, found the first boundary of the innings came in the 13th over. Rohit then went through the gears, smashing four boundaries in the 15th over against Sam Curran and cashed in on the opportunity to score some much-needed runs after the first hour when England didn't allow them to relax.
Soon after, the players were forced to take an early lunch due yet another passing shower. It was third time in the day after both the toss and the start of play had been delayed separately. India went into the break with the opening stand nearing a half century.
After lunch, India quickly notched up the fifty-run stand, a first for the opening wicket for the visitors at Lord’s since 1952. Rahul continued to play second fiddle as Rohit cut loose, bringing out his full repertoire of shots, including the famous pull shot.
The stylish Mumbaikar didn’t waste too much time in completing his half-century and looking set to convert into his first overseas hundred as an opener. While Rohit continued in his fluent ways, Rahul dug in at the other end, denying England joy.
However, with his score on 83, Rohit was undone by an absolute brilliantly bowled inswinger from Anderson. Cheteshwar Pujara (9) once again failed to hang in there after that and was dismissed on the final delivery of the 50th over as he attempted to punch the ball outside off and edged it to second slip. Anderson bagged his second wicket as Pujara's worrying run continued.
Rahul and Virat Kohli played out the rest of the session keeping a hungry Anderson at arm’s length.
The Indian captain, who had been dismissed first ball in the previous Test in the first innings, expectedly took time to get going and was far from his assured self early on. Meanwhile, Rahul at the other end was starting to up the scoring rate.
In the final session, Kohli continued to be patient and was more than happy to play out the dots, taking his time to settle in.
Rahul though at the other end was steadily upping the ante as he inched closer to a Test century. England on their part could not bowl Anderson as much as they may have liked as he had already bowled more than the rest.
Rahul then brought up his century in the 78th over off Mark Wood, playing him away to the third man area, putting India in an advantageous position as the final hour approached. Kohli too was approaching a half-century at the time. Rahul took more than a hundred deliveries to get through his first 20 runs before swiftly changing gears. Rahul's century meant he became the third Indian to score a Test ton at the Oval and also at Lord's (both in London) after Ravi Shastri and Rahul Dravid.
England took the second new ball as soon as it was on offer and it was Ollie Robinson who found the breakthrough in the 85th over, picking the big scalp of Kohli for 42. The Indian skipper, who was looking good, went fishing outside the off-stump and edged it to Joe Root, who made no mistake.
Ajinkya Rahane came out for the final half hour or so of the day and along with Rahul did not yield an inch, frustrating the English bowlers. For the hosts, Anderson and Robinson were the only ones who had any luck on the day.
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