KL Rahul nears fourth ton, leads India’s strong reply vs England in Chennai Test
KL Rahul neared his fourth Test century and he shared an opening stand of 152 with Parthiv Patel as India made a strong start on the third day of the fifth Test against England in Chennai.cricket Updated: Dec 18, 2016 11:51 IST
KL Rahul was on the verge of his fourth century as India made a solid start in reply to England’s 477 all out at lunch on the third day of the final Test in Chennai. (SCORECARD)
Rahul, who crossed 50 for the first time in a home Test, was unbeaten on 89 (157 balls, 8x4, 2x6) and Cheteshwar Pujara was on 11, with India 173 for one. (UPDATES)
The hosts were still 304 runs behind England’s first innings total, but looked on course for a big total on a flat MA Chidambaram Stadium pitch in which the visiting bowlers struggled as much as the hosts had on the first two days.
Rahul and stand-in Parthiv Patel (71) put on a record opening partnership for India against England at home – bettering the 135 put on by Sunil Gavaskar and Farokh Engineer at Mumbai in 1973 --- after Murali Vijay could not open due to a bruised shoulder suffered while fielding on Saturday.
Rahul, playing in his 12th Test, batted with authority, after dispatching debutant left-arm spinner Liam Dawson for two big sixes to get him off the attack early in the day.
With Patel too playing positively at the other end, Rahul attacked pacer Stuart Broad as well as off-spinner Moeen Ali. The pair raised a 152-run partnership, the best by India’s openers in this series before Patel miscued a flick off off-spinner Moeen Ali to Jos Buttler at point.
The Karnataka batsman has shown his quality since he scored a century in his second Test against Australia in Sydney on the 2014-15 tour, and has also done justice to the role of third opener in the Indian team.
Patel, who spent almost 13-and-a-half hours at a stretch on the field, got out against the run of play. The left-handed batsman got his career-best score, and sixth Test fifty, scoring heavily on the leg-side and with wristy shots.
India lead the five-match series 3-0.