KL Rahul eyes 150, England get Virat Kohli cheaply in Chennai Test
KL Rahul continued to bat positively after he reached his fourth Test century but England struck with the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohlicricket Updated: Dec 18, 2016 14:37 IST
KL Rahul struck his fourth Test century to lead India to in reply to England’s 477 all out on the third day of the fifth Test against England on Sunday. (UPDATES)
However, England pacers struck crucial blows after lunch, Ben Stokes having Cheteshwar Pujara caught in the slip cordon for 16 and Stuart Broad claimed the prize scalp of skipper Virat Kohli, who drove a pitched-up delivery to Keaton Jennings at cover for 15. (SCORECARD)
India reached 256 for three at tea. KL Rahul was unbeaten on 133 and Karun Nair was batting on 19. England kept things tight in the session, conceding only 83 runs and taking two wickets as the MA Chidambaram pitch seemed to slow down, making free scoring a touch difficult.
The 24-year-old Rahul, who played his first eight Tests outside the country and reached his first fifty-plus score at home in the morning, reached triple figures with three runs following an overthrow into the post-lunch session.
Rahul and stand-in opener Parthiv Patel had put on a record 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.
Patel was out before lunch for a career-best 71 after he miscued off-spinner Moeen Ali and then Ben Stokes removed Cheteshwar Pujara soon after lunch, having him caught at slip for 16.
Both Pujara and Kohli fell to reverse-swing, the former committing to steer the delivery from Stokes which moved late and the skipper failing to get to the pitch of the ball.
The MA Chidambaram Stadium pitch, which was flat on the first two days and in the morning session on Sunday, seemed to slow down, putting a check on the Indian batsmen’s free strokeplay.
Patel and Rahul raised a 151-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.
Rahul’s partnership with Kohli just seemed to be taking off when it was broken after a phase of tight bowling with Dawson at one end and Broad at the other.
The Karnataka batsman has shown his quality since he scored a century in his second Test in Sydney on the 2014-15 tour, and has also overcome the role as a third opener in the squad, stepping up whenever Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan were not available.