Chennai Test: Splendid KL Rahul, but dismissal on 199 was school-boyish
Rahul batted beautifully for his 199 in what was a crucial innings for a very important player in the Indian batting line-up. While he will be gutted for his school-boyish dismissal, one is delighted to see him return of form
India's Lokesh Rahul raises his bat after scoring century during the third day of the fifth cricket test match against England at MAC Stadium in Chennai. Pic/AFP
If England were in a position to share honours at end of Day Three, it is primarily due to the obstinacy of their lower order batting. Moeen Ali with a free flowing 146 was at his versatile best. Ali is an impact bat, if I may call him so. He can upset bowling plans in the way he bats — quick-scoring, taking his chances and playing on instinct.
Thirteen boundaries and a six in this innings tell you that he occupies the crease to score runs. His dismissal to the short ball again also says he will play the way he does because that's where he is comfortable.
Root, the special one
Joe Root with his 88 again showed why he has earned the reputation of a special player, till a debatable review went in favour of the Indian team. If England got to 477 in 157 overs it had a lot to do with debutant Liam Dawson's unbeaten 66 and Adil Rashid's wristy 60. This lower order partnership will be valued more for giving England more batting time in the Test.
Parthiv Patel opened with KL Rahul in place of the injured Murli Vijay. Admirably, he opened the innings after 157 overs of wicketkeeping and he knows that he can offer more to his team as an opener than a middle-order batsman. His opening partnership of 152 with Rahul gave India the opportunity to press for something to happen in this Test match.
Rahul batted beautifully for his 199. This was a crucial innings for a very important player in the Indian batting line-up. He started the season in a prolific manner, but an injury broke his momentum.
Rahul back on track
This innings was decisive from his own perspective and now he looks to be back on track. He apparently has made few adjustments to his stance by staying inside the crease and this is giving him more time to play his shots. While he will be gutted for his school-boyish dismissal at 199, one is delighted to see him return of form.
Karun Nair couldn't have asked for better conditions or an attack to get going. He looked the part although he had a stroke of luck early in his innings. His unbeaten 71 has given the Indian fan another batsman to watch diligently— tomorrow and in the future.
It's India who will have to take the initiative in this Test to create inroads for a win because England will be satisfied if they save this Test match.
The writer is a former Mumbai Ranji Trophy captain
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