With a slash to a delivery, wide and short outside the off stump from Mark Wood, racing it away to the third man boundary, KL Rahul had his name engraved on the iconic Lord’s Honours board. He becomes only the 10th Indian batsman to notch up a century at the storied Lord’s cricket ground.
Vinoo Mankad in 1952 was the first Indian to record a Test ton at the ‘Home of Cricket’; KL Rahul is the latest to do so. In between 8 other Indian batters – Dilip Vengsarkar (thrice), Gundappa Viswanath, Ravi Shastri, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Ajit Agarkar, Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane – had had their names inked on the Lord’s Honours board.
KL Rahul returns into the Test eleven with a bang:
KL Rahul hit his first absolute attacking shot on the first ball of the 41st over – a down the ground six over the head of bowler Moeen Ali. He had abstained himself from going after any of England’s four pacers, in particular against James Anderson and Ollie Robinson. After being inserted in first by Joe Root, that is the template KL Rahul, and to an extent, Rohit Sharma applied successfully.
The Karnataka batsman left a plenty percentage of balls outside off-stump or blocked and blocked the ones he was forced to play. Markedly, he has looked far more assured and decisive of deliveries on and outside off, in the channel, than he did on the 2018 tour. He has always been aesthetically pleasing; today, the right-hander converted his potential into a significant knock.
Post that maximum off Ali, KL Rahul opened his wings further. He unleashed a flurry of classy cover drives and whips off the pads. He notched up his terrific century of the 212th delivery he faced before taking more toll on the England pacers.