KL Rahul smashed his sixth fifty in seven innings on Day 4 of the fourth and final Test against Australia at the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala. His scores in this series have been 64,10,90,51,67,60 and 51*. The right-hander finished the series with an aggregate of 393 runs at an average of 65.5. Thanks to his consistent performances, his average is the best among the Indian batsmen and second-best in the series only behind Steve Smith’s 71.28. (HIGHLIGHTS)
These numbers not only define Rahul’s consistency, but they also highlight the fact that he has scored runs in different conditions that have been presented in each of the four Tests played in Pune, Bangalore, Ranchi and Dharamsala. (SCORECARD)
Contributions on different surfaces
In the first Test in Pune, Rahul was the only batsman who looked in total control on a minefield of a deck as he smashed 64 out of the 105 runs in the first innings. India suffered a 333-run rout and their problems only increased with Rahul battling an injured shoulder.
In Bangalore, with the shoulder injury restricting him, Rahul cut down on attacking shots and looked to stay in. On a pitch that had help for the bowlers, Rahul scored 90 out of the 189 runs when Nathan Lyon was ripping the Indian team apart with 8/50. His knock of 51 in the second innings laid a solid platform for India as they erased the deficit and turned around to win the match and level the series.
In Ranchi, he looked good for a big score on a flat deck but on 67, he was undone by a magnificent bouncer from Pat Cummins.
Most testing period of his career
With the series tied 1-1, the teams headed to Dharamsala and India were confronted with a pitch that suited the visitors. In the face of disciplined and hostile swing and pace bowling, Rahul used his technical prowess brilliantly to survive against Josh Hazlewood and Cummins. His fifth fifty, combined with an 87-run stand for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara, ensured India had a solid platform.
Speaking after the end of Day 2, Rahul had remarked that the first session was the toughest session he had faced in Test cricket.
Boosted by a magnificent spell from Umesh Yadav and the spinners, Australia collapsed to 137 and India coasted to an eight-wicket win to clinch the series with Rahul sealing victory with his sixth fifty. Although he did not score a single hundred, he added that it was fun batting in the middle.
“It has not been a worst series for me. I got starts and enjoyed batting in the middle. A little disappointed I have not been able to convert the starts and get big runs for the team. Australia’s bowlers haven’t made it easy. They have challenged us in all the games,” Rahul added on Day 2.
Before this series, Rahul had four centuries and one fifty. After this series, he has seven fifties and four tons. However, the fact that he registered the knocks in different conditions and ensured India won the series would give him immense satisfaction.