London, August 13 (IANS) Opener KL Rahul (stroke 127) showed tremendous amounts of patience and determination as he scored his sixth Test century to help India finish day one of the second Test at Lord’s strongly placed at 276/3. The guests were deployed by England.
Rahul, who bowed down, faced 248 deliveries and hit 12 fours and a six as he shared century stands with Rohit Sharma (83) and skipper Virat Kohli (42) to frustrate the English bowling attack, which lacks some of the best bowlers like Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
The English team, however, had the old warhorse and genius in turns and nails, James Anderson, who was the most successful bowler of the day, picking two wickets for 52. Rahul gave him due respect, but when there were loose deliveries, he offered harmless his square runs.
In fact, the drives through the square on off and cover the 29-year-old Native American got plenty of runs and boundaries.
Rahul shared 126 runs for the first wicket with Sharma before the latter was bowled by Anderson.
After Cheteshwar Pujara’s firing in nine, Rahul added 117 runs with Kohli to the third wicket.
The Karnataka striker played second fiddle to Sharma, who was the striker when the two were at the fold. When Sharma was rejected to 83, Rahul was at 33 (from 118 balls). However, after two quick wickets from Sharma and Pujara, he took over the lead role and let skipper Kohli settle down.
When he reached his 13th Test fifty with a slip past the Cardon that picked him up three, Rahul opened up immediately after tea with a four-pass next to Anderson.
He followed it up with four more from the veteran Englishman through cover-point and then hit Sam Curran, England’s weak link of the day, through cover to move into the 70s. He reached his century with a cut for four to third man and became only the third Indian opener to reach a test century at Lord’s.
He also became only the 10th Indian batsman to get a ton on the spot.
England’s bowlers struggling during the day managed to make a breakthrough towards the end as pacer Ollie Robinson forced Kohli to go down to 42.
Ajinkya Rahane, who himself had scored a century at Lord’s, in 2014, was undefeated on one (out of 22 balls).
India 276/3 i 90 overs (R Sharma 83, KL Rahul 127 batting, V Kohli 42, J Anderson 2/52) vs England.