KL Rahul put up a show of class and grit as he made his way to an unbeaten 122 on day 1 of the first Test against South Africa in Centurion. Rahul stitched a 117-run stand for the first wicket with best mate Mayank Agarwal to give the tourists the perfect foundation, which saw them reach 272/3 at stumps on the first day. By scoring his maiden century on South African soil, Rahul has taken over former Indian Test great Virender Sehwag in an elite list of Indian opening batters.
This was Rahul’s 7th century in Test cricket, which came on the day when he completed 7 years in international cricket. Rahul was handed his debut Test cap on December 26 in Melbourne in 2014.
The century was Rahul’s 5th outside Asia, which is one more than what Sehwag achieved in his career. He is now second on the list of Indian openers with most Test tons outside Asia.
The legendary Sunil Gavaskar leads the pack with 15 tons outside Asia and if Rahul manages to come anywhere close to this landmark, who might well consider his Test career to be a success.
BCCI shared a video on Monday in which Rahul spoke about his batting, the preparations leading to this three-match Test series South Africa.
“It is truly special, every hundred really takes something out of you and gives you joy. There are so many emotions you go through when you score a hundred. You bat for 6-7 hours, those are the kind of innings that stand out and as players, we really cherish these. This is what is expected out of me. Once I got off to a good start, I started enjoying my batting and I did not think too far ahead,” Rahul told BCCI.TV.
Mayank Agarwal scored 60 runs and shared an opening stand of 117 runs with KL Rahul. Skipper Kohli was also looking good at the crease but he gave away his wicket to Lungi Ngidi after playing a 35-run knock.
“Preparation has been really good, all the batters that batted on Day 1 were really focused. I just try to stay in the moment when I am out there in the middle. I have surprised myself with how calm I have been, my focus has always been to stay in the moment and react to the ball that is bowled. Really happy that I could finish the day on a good note,” said Rahul.
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