Cricket
KL Rahul, repeated failure in Tests & knocks to remember

KL Rahul, repeated failure in Tests & knocks to remember

In the 47 Tests he has played so far, KL Rahul averages a poor 33, and has scored 2642 runs only, with seven tons to his name.

KL Rahul and Test Cricket have had a tumultuous relationship over the years. At one point, the Karnataka batsman was seen as a successor to Virender Sehwag, and later, he was someone who blew up his chances, despite possessing talent galore. Now, the 70 not out in the first innings in the India vs South Africa Test at Centurion is seen as a lifeline for him. Many hail this innings, as good as a ton, in difficult, testing conditions, where no other batsman even managed to reach fifty.

Rahul, in the middle-order, plus his wicket-keeping skills, might just be the redemption, the team and player must be looking for. Having said that, this is not the only time he has proved his mettle in Tests.

On the last tour of South Africa, in 2021, Rahul came up with a gritty knock of 123 in the first innings, at Centurion again, to take the team to a famous 113-run victory. In a solid opening stand with his state mate Mayank Agarwal, the duo stitched a partnership of 117, to take the team to a first innings score of 327. The rest was taken care of by the bowlers, as Rahul showed a glimpse, of why he could be a long-term prospect.

Just a few months before that, Rahul had smashed 129 against England at Lord’s. His smooth, silken innings took India to 364 in the first innings. That led to the foundation for an easy victory over the next few days, as it again proved to be a case of flatter to deceive.

Having said that, his talent was apparent right from when he broke into the Indian team. On his very first tour to Australia, he smashed his maiden ton at the SCG, against an attack that had Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, and Josh Hazlewood. He stood tall with Virat Kohli (147), to score 110 and make a statement.

Knock at Centurion, One of His Best

While he is still unbeaten on 70 in the Centurion Test, many have called it his greatest knock in Tests already. If only Rahul can churn out performances consistently from here on, will he be a regular in the Test side, and be an asset also. The management has once again shown trust in his ability, and all those knocks are a testament to his immense talent. Now it’s only a question of delivering over and over again.

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