Rohit Sharma said he had never seen KL Rahul bat better after his opening partner’s unbeaten century left India well-placed on 276-3 at stumps on the first day of the second Test against England at Lord’s on Thursday.
Rahul was initially outshone by Sharma, who made 83 in their fine stand of 126 — the first century partnership by an overseas opening pair in a Test in England since 2016, when Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva also achieved the feat at Lord’s.
It was also India’s first century opening partnership in a Test outside Asia since 2010.
But, while patient in defence, Rahul was still 127 not out at the close, having batted for more than six-and-a-half hours.
“It was probably the best I have seen KL bat,” Sharma told reporters. “He was very much in control from ball one. He was very clear with his plans. I thought today was his day and he really made it count.”
Together with India captain Virat Kohli, Rahul also shared a third wicket stand of 117 before the star batsman was undone by the new ball, falling for 42 after edging Ollie Robinson to opposing captain Joe Root at first slip.
“To be fair, they played well so to get the wicket of Kohli at the end was huge and gives us a bit of momentum for the morning,” Robinson said.
Earlier, Rahul drove Mark Wood through the covers for four to go to 98 before a late cut boundary off the fast bowler — the ninth four of his innings — saw him to a 212-ball hundred that also included a six against recalled spinner Moeen Ali, one of three changes to England’s XI.