Sunday, November 28, 2021

KL Rahul-Rohit Sharma duo break 11-yr drought of first century partnership in England

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.

England Vs India, 2nd Test, day 1, Cricket 2021: KL Rahul, record  partnership, 11-year first, Joe Root gamble | NT News

It was also India’s first century opening partnership in a Test outside Asia since 2010.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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