Indian opener KL Rahul was delighted after finally getting a chance to play for the national team in the longest format of the match. He was on the sidelines for some time after a dive in the form, but had the best chance of scoring England in the first Test by scoring 84 in the first innings.
In circumstances in which the ball moved poisonously around, Rahul held a fort on one side while the wickets fell on the other. His partnership with Rishabh Pants first, and then with Ravindra, Jadeja proposes India with a lead of 95 runs.
Rahul’s path back to the playful XI was happy. First choice opener Shubman Gill injured before the series, so he was sent home. His replacement, Mayank Agarwal, was hit on the head by Mohammad Siraj, who excluded him from the first Test. Rahul said of the frustrations he endured after warming up the bench in Australia and most of the Tests in India:
“Of the last 2-3 series (India’s tour of Australia 2020-21 and England’s tour of India 2021), I’m sitting outside. The team is doing very well and I was very happy to be part of the team and see how our teams beat India and then Australia. So it was great to be a part of it, but also very frustrating that there were no opportunities,”KL Rahul added.
‘As a player you want to be in the middle and challenge yourself’ – KL Rahul
Last time Rahul toured England in 2018 he had a tremendous time. A string of low scores in the first nine innings was somewhat saved by a dazzling 149-run beat in the final Test. After that, his chances came in between. After finally batting in the position of him, Rahul was very happy that he contributed to the team’s case at Trent Bridge.
“It was just practice, practice and practice, and as a player you want to be in the middle and challenge yourself. So I kept waiting for my opportunity, and I’m very glad it came to England. I was just looking forward to it and I’m glad the opportunity came and in the first game I made a great contribution to the team.“
Although Mayank Agarwal may be available from the next Test, Virat Kohli and co. will likely stay with the same team for the second Test at Lord’s.