The swinging Dukes ball, the windy playing conditions, the consistently inconsistent showers- none of these factors seem to have ruffled KL Rahul’s feathers as the Indian opener continued to exude his dominance in the ongoing Test series against England. Carrying on from the previous game, the 29-year-old one upped himself as he scored a swashbuckling century at the ‘Home of Cricket’ on day one of the second Test.
Opposition captain Joe Root won the toss and decided to put India to bat, and was immediately made to repent that decision as India’s KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma registered an opening run stand surpassing a 100- the first time the team has achieved that feat outside of Asia since 2011. Both openers showed great patience and application, as they weathered the first few hours of play to tire out the English bowlers.
Initially, it was Rohit Sharma who was doing the bulk of the scoring, as Rahul allowed himself adequate time to get settled. Rohit scored 83 at a brisk pace, before he succumbed to a James Anderson in swinger. Nevertheless, the foundation had been laid for India to dominate on day one of the Test match.
After Rohit Sharma’s wicket fell, Rohit picked up the scoring rate as he began playing a few of his classical drives and cuts. Despite losing new man Cheteshwar Pujara cheaply, the Punjab Kings captain and Virat Kohli stitched together a 117 run partnership, as the English pacers wilted away.
Rahul scored 11 boundaries and a majestic six off Moeen Ali’s bowling on day One of the Lord’s Test. The 29-year-old played a delicate late cut off Mark Wood’s bowling in the dying overs of the day to notch up his first ever Test century at the Home of Cricket. With that ton, KL Rahul joins a select group of Indians including Dilip Vengsarkar, Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid and a few others to have their name on the Lord’s honours board.
Record shattering Rahul
With that majestic ton yesterday, Rahul also claimed a slew of records. He became just the third Indian opener to score a ton at Lord’s, and the first one to do so in 31 years, after Mohammad Azharuddin.
The Punjab Kings skipper also became second on the list for most centuries as an opener outside of Asia. Of his six International Test centuries, only one of them has come on Indian soil, with all the remaining being scored on daunting, swing friendly pitches which have traditionally been an Achilles heel for Indian batsmen.
Rahul also tops the charts for most fifty plus scores by an Indian opener outside of Asia since 2016, reminding all of his consistency and prowess. With two stellar knocks in successive Tests, KL Rahul seems to have cemented that opening slot, and with the majority of the series still ahead of us, one can only expect the stylish Indian batter to carry on this momentum.