KL Rahul hits classy century as India dominate England on opening day of Lord’s Test

KL Rahul (127th) shares century positions with Rohit Sharma (83) and Virat Kohli (42); James Anderson’s (2-52) double strike shortly before tea raises hopes of a comeback from England; Ollie Robinson (1-47) picks up Kohli at the end of the day as India closes 276-3

KL Rahul hit a magnificent 127th as India dominated the opening day of Test 2 at Lord’s, despite James Anderson’s best efforts to provoke a counterattack from England.

Anderson (2-52), who had been hesitant to play the morning of the game, fired Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara in a superb six-plus spell before tea that promised much more.

But Rahul and Virat Kohli (42) came back after the interval with the sun shining and batting conditions vastly improved, and posted 117 for the third wicket before Ollie Robinson (1-47) picked up the India captain, reaching the first slip. , late in the day.

Previously, starters Rahul and Rohit (83) produced a high-level batting masterclass against some skilled bowlers from England, and in useful, cloudy conditions that had been key in persuading Joe Root to pitch first in the draw.

The pair shared a 126-run position that displayed an impressive combination of technique, patience and good judgment, until Rohit was finally duped by Anderson.

Struck on his outside edge by one who ripped the ball off right, Rohit was knocked out by a beauty who moved late to throw him through the gate.

Tail up, Anderson picked up Pujara (9) cheaply shortly after, but, in the dying throes of the afternoon session, Kohli, who had been fired by the fast pitcher for a gold duck in the first test, he wisely protected himself from the blow. and he and Rahul built on India’s strong foundations the night before Robinson’s late goal with the second new ball.

Rain had twice delayed the start of the game at the ‘House of Cricket’, while an early lunch was also called for as the skies opened again to interrupt a quiet opening session, one in which England will have felt aggrieved for ending. no wicket.

The ever vigilant India starters added just 11 runs from the first 10 overs, while their first limit of the day did not come until 13. It sparked a flurry as Rohit would shoot four fours from Sam Curran’s next.

Rohit would take on the role of dominant partner, hooking Mark Wood for six and charging the 93 mph pitcher with a flat four after the lunch break when he suddenly ran to fifty percent 83 balls.

Rahul, on the other hand, remained cautious, contributing only 16 to his century-opening position, but gradually began to break the shackles as his first cap hit 41 with a sumptuous six in a straight line as he leapt across the field towards Moeen. Ali. .

England, desperately in need of a breakthrough, found one through a familiar source in Anderson, who used the Lord’s Slope from the End Pavilion to devastating effect when he got one back late to finally defeat Rohit’s defenses.

A rusty Pujara was lucky enough to last as long as the 23 deliveries he made, with Anderson first with a shout of lbw at 0 rejected (England wasting a review) before finding his outside advantage in two, only for the ball to go off. . jet through a gap in the slips.

England had three receivers in place, but with Rory Burns operating from a wide slipping fourth position. They learned their lesson, as when Pujara hit another just before tea, Jonny Bairstow was there this time to seize the opportunity to be third.

The Lord’s crowd wanted Anderson against Kohli. But Pujara’s wicket had arrived with the last ball of the over, and Rahul then smartly hoarded the strike until interval, passing fifty in the process.

By the time he finally got his chance against the Indian captain, the crowd had been subdued, Kohli had his eyes on something and the ‘battle’ lasted two balls when Anderson’s sublime spell of nine over came to an end.

Rahul and Kohli then cashed in as batting conditions vastly improved in the evening session, with the former earning a well-deserved sixth test ton when he cut his 212 delivery, a long and short jump from Wood, to third. limit of man.

The second new ball produced much-needed breakthrough, but this time it was Robinson supplying when Kohli taunted Root. Anderson had found his outer edge in the previous over, but missed the waiting chord.

There were no more windows before the close, although there was time for England to lose a second review on a shout from Robinson lbw to Ajinkya Rahane that was slipping down.

Watch the second day of the second test between England and India at Lord’s from 10.15am on Friday at Sky Sports The Hundred and Main Event.

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