The sixth century of KL Rahul’s career and Rohit Sharma’s lopsided half-century helped India record 276 for three in the first day of the second Test against England here on Thursday. Rahul made an unbeaten 127 off 248 balls with 12 fours and a six. Rohit missed his first Test century on foreign ground. He scored 83 off 145 balls, including 11 fours and a six. The duo added 126 runs for the first wicket. It was India’s third century for the first wicket at Lord’s and the first since 1974.
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Cheteshwar Pujara (nine off 23 balls) failed again. Skipper Virat Kohli played 42 deliveries in 103 balls, but shared a 117-run partnership for the third wicket with Rahul. Ajinkya Rahane was playing a run with Rahul during the stump. Among the England bowlers, James Anderson (2 for 52) is the leading batsman. He had a good ally from the other end. His teammate Stuart Broad is out of the series due to injury. After 80 overs, England took the new ball, taking advantage of Kohli’s wicket with Olly Robinson (1 for 47). Skipper Joe Root looked desperate for a wicket and in the meantime he also lost two reviews.
In the first two periods, Rohit took on the main responsibility of scoring runs, but after his dismissal, Rahul maintained that responsibility well. Rahul thoroughly enjoyed batting at first, but then he hit many impressive shots. He opened his hands with a six off Moeen Ali in the long off and then hit two lovely boundaries on Mark Wood. Even after this, Rahul scored easily and did not allow bowlers to dominate. His cover drive at Wood was really impressive when he reached 98. In the next over of the same bowler, he completed the century by sending the ball to the third man for four runs. This is his second century against England. He is the tenth Indian to score a century at Lord’s. This cemented their position in the top flight. Even after completing the century, he made some impressive shots.
#ENGVIND | 2nd Test: India vs England 276/3 at the end of 1st day at Lord’s, London
– ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2021
Rohit adapted to the conditions in the first hour of the rain hit session but then batted in his usual style. India scored 11 in the first ten overs, but the batsmen did not look under pressure at any point. Sam Karen hit the first four of Rohit’s innings in the 13th over. He scored 13 in the first 50 balls but then hit the switch man and hit the boundary for four on Karen’s next over. Rohit completed his 13th half-century with a run by Oli Robinson in the telly and then sent Wood to six. While India’s score reached 100, Rahul’s contribution was just 16 runs.
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As Rohit seemed to be completing his debut overseas, Anderson struck Rohit on an incoming ball after hitting two outwingers. For India, however, the form of its top two batsmen is a matter of concern. Kohli was dismissed in the first delivery by Nottingham, and initially Anderson was in trouble. He hit his first boundary when he hit the 49th. Despite this, Kohli was unable to regain his natural rhythm and returned to the pavilion with a simple catch in the slips in the final moments of the day. Pooja also did not look comfortable at any time after landing in the crease. He tried to tamper the outgoing balls and caught the slip on the same delivery delivered by Anderson. Anderson became the highest wicket taker (30) in any field against India.
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India had previously changed their squad in the previous match against Nottingham, and paceman Ishant Sharma was replaced in the playing XI instead of the injured Shardul Thakur. England have added Moeen, Haseeb Hamid and Wood in place of the injured Stuart Broad, Dan Lawrence and Jack Crowley.