Rohit Sharma heaped rich praise on KL Rahul after his batting partner hit a hundred on the opening day of the 2nd Test between India and England at Lord’s. Rohit Sharma said KL Rahul did not have any confusion and executed his plans clear in the middle in difficult conditions for batting against the moving Dukes’ ball in London on Thursday.
KL Rahul became only the 3rd Indian opener and the 10th overall from the country to hit a hundred at the iconic venue and find himself a spot on the Lord’s Honours board. KL Rahul remained unbeaten on 127 at Stump’s on Day 1 as India finished at a dominant position, having posted 276 for 3 in 90 overs.
Rohit Sharma Said This Is Probably The Best That He Has Seen KL Rahul Bat
KL Rahul was happy to play second fiddle to Rohit Sharma during their 126-run opening stand that set a solid platform for India after Joe Root won the toss and opted to bowl. KL Rahul was solid in defence and left balls outside the off-stump wonderfully well.
After Rohit Sharma missed out on a well-deserved hundred by just 17 runs, KL Rahul took charge and dominated his partnership with Virat Kohli for the 3rd wicket. KL Rahul was fluent on the off-side as he drove off the front foot and punched off the back foot with precision. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli added 117 runs before Ollie Robinson sent the India captain back to the hut late on Day 1.
“This is probably the best that I have seen KL Rahul bat,” Rohit Sharma said after Day 1 action in London.
“I thought he was very much in control from Ball 1. Till we finished the day today, he looked very much in control. At no point, it looked like he was confused or thinking too much, he was very clear about his plans. When you are clear with your plans, when you trust your plans, it definitely works,” he added.
“I thought today was his day and I thought he really made it count.”
Rohit Sharma posted his highest Test score in overseas conditions but the senior batter missed out on an opportunity to score his first Test hundred. Rohit Sharma came up with flawless innings but James Anderson got the better of the well-set opener with an inswinger.
“I wouldn’t say the best (knock of mine) because as long as you’re playing, there will be a lot of opportunities. But certainly, challenging one, the most challenging that I have played. I felt very good, was very happy with the way I started off. Unfortunate dismissal but probably I couldn’t have done anything to that,” Rohit said.
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul broke a 69-year-old record for India at Lord’s on Thursday in the ongoing second Test with their gritty opening partnership against England. The duo put on a 100-run opening partnership in a Test match for India at Lord’s for the first time since 1952. Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy were the last Indian openers to achieve the feat when they put on 106 for the first wicket against England in 1952 at the home of cricket.
Rohit Sharma Said KL Rahul Has A Similar Mindset Like Him
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have combined at the top for India in Tests for the first time in this series against England but the pair had already put two solid opening stands — 97 at Trent Bridge and 126 at Lord’s. Rohit Sharma said despite not opening together much in the longest format of the game, the two batsmen have been able to get the job done because they understand each other’s game well.
“Honestly, there was no discussion because KL was not supposed to play, Mayank was supposed to play. But unfortunately, he had a concussion and then KL stepped in. Only when we went out to bat, we started discussing what we need to do.”
“Yes, this is the first time I am batting with him in Tests but we have batted with each other a number of times, we know each other’s game, we understand each other’s game. It’s important to keep talking in the middle. You can be very lonely if you don’t have someone to communicate with. Both KL and I have a similar mindset and we want to take the game forward,” Rohit added.
In the 1st Test against England too, KL Rahul, playing his first Test in nearly two years, scored a tenacious 84 off 214 balls, spending nearly 350 minutes out in the middle of the crease. Thanks to his performance, India managed to get a crucial 95-run lead over England in the first innings.
KL Rahul, who last played a Test before Nottingham in August of 2019 against West Indies, before the England Test series, was drafted into the Playing XI after opening batsman Mayank Agarwal was ruled out due to a concussion.
The 28-year-old batsman who can do wicket-keeping job as well debuted in 2014 in Tests. KL Rahul had scored a century in a three-day warm-up game before the Test series and he top-scored with 84 as India made 278 in reply to England’s first-innings 183 in the 1st Test.