KL Rahul played an unbeaten 122-run hand on Day 1 of the first Test between India and South Africa, as the visitors finished strong at 272/3 at stumps. The opener ended up collecting 16 fours and a six. His innings had all his attractive range of strokes, including the cover drives and his punch shot off the back foot.
Impressed with Rahul’s knock, former opener Wasim Jaffer said,” Welcome to the exclusive club of Indian openers with a Test hundred in SA @klrahul11. Very well played #SAvIND.”
“Solid knock brother,” Dinesh Karthik said.
Rahul got to the 90s with a six off spinner Keshav Maharaj and stayed there for a while before reaching the milestone with a gentle steer off the left-arm bowler through point. He shared a 117-run opening stand with Mayank Agarwal (60) at the top and then added 82 runs with skipper Virat Kohli (35).
This was KL Rahul’s seventh Test ton, fifth outside Asia. He and Ajinkya Rahane (40) remained unbeaten at stumps.
KL Rahul reached three-figure mark in England earlier this year and has also scored a hundred in every country he has played in. Just like he had done it in England alongside Rohit Sharma, Rahul played with absolute clarity knowing which balls to leave and which ones to go for his shots. His friend and Karnataka teammate Agarwal also made it easier for Rahul early on by being the aggressor in the partnership.
“Brilliant from Rahul. A century in South Africa is special. Another step towards becoming the player we all knew he could be,” Harsha Bhogale tweeted.
Resuming Day 2 at 272, India will eye a first innings total of anywhere close to 450.
For South Africa, Lungi Ngidi took all the three wickets.