India could not have asked for a better start from their openers - Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul - on the first day of the second Test at Lord’s. After weathering the challenge of the new ball, the duo put on 126 runs for the opening wicket. While Rohit got out scoring 83, his opening partner Rahul ensured that he hurt England with an innings of the highest calibre, ending on 129. Rahul admitted that it was a surreal feeling to see his name on the Lord’s honours board.
“It was special to see my name on the (Lord’s) honours board, it was a sense of achievement and pride for me. Every Test century is special for me, it has been a couple of years before I played Test Cricket. Test hundred is always very special for me, it being at Lord’s was even more special,” Rahul said in the post-day press conference.
While India looked in complete control at the end of day one, day two’s challenge was a contrast for the Men in Blue, who were pushed back early by the English bowlers. Rahul insisted that being disciplined and waiting for the loose deliveries is key in Test Cricket, especially in English conditions, where the bowlers always stand a chance of making a comeback.
“Challenges are there in every format. We as players know how to handle the challenges of the format. Sometimes we perform and sometimes we don’t, the pressure is slightly different. One day cricket is different, after one or two overs, it will stop swinging or if it is a green top, it will swing for ten overs. It is completely different in Test cricket, it is all about disciplined and waiting for the loose deliveries with your right shot selection.”
Rahul admitted the frustration after his tame dismissal on the second day of the Test, where he pushed an innocuous delivery straight into the hands of the short cover fielder, after making a valuable 129 runs for the country. The opener also asserted that the experienced duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will come out of the dry patch soon.
“I always get frustrated when I get out after being well set. Today’s morning was crucial for us, I looked after myself last night and just wanted to go out and play with freedom. Really frustrated that I missed out on a juicy half-volley and drove it straight to the covers hand. I was looking to build on my innings.”
“Pujara and Ajinkya have always performed for India when needed. I am sure that they are hungry to perform for the team. They are experienced players, they know how to come out of this patch. You should also realise that coming out to bat in England, you are going to get good deliveries. We need to accept that in England, we might get good balls and not going to go there and score runs. Once you make a start, you need to make it count.