Gavaskar expressed that he would rank Rahul’s eighth Test century, where he scored 101, among the top ten centuries in the history of Indian Test cricket. In only his second appearance in the middle-order in Tests after a gap of nine years, Rahul displayed a remarkable blend of caution and aggression.He adeptly navigated the challenges posed by bounce and swing while capitalizing on loose deliveries, steering India from a precarious 121/6 to a commendable total of 245.
“I have been watching cricket since 50 years, I can surely say this hundred by Rahul is in the top ten in the Indian history of Tests, because this is a different kind of pitch. Here, a batter would never have the confidence that he is set. The ball can do anything anytime.”
“Playing such a knock despite that, especially today… he was unbeaten on 70 yesterday but only had Siraj and Prasidh Krishna for company today. When Siraj got out, (Rahul) was on 95. The shot with which he reached his hundred, no praise would be enough for it. It was a length ball and he played a shot that you would normally see in T20s. Amazing,” said Gavaskar while on Hindi commentary duties on TV.
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In really testing conditions and challenging pitch which was conducive for fast-bowlers, Rahul made his comeback to Test cricket memorable by scoring one of his best hundreds in the format, with the crowd and entire Indian dressing room giving him a standing ovation. After ending day one’s play on 70 not out off 105 balls, Rahul made 31 runs off just 28 balls on day two, reaching the century with a stylish pull off Gerald Coetzee over deep mid-wicket for six.
The knock of 101, laced with 14 fours and four sixes, was Rahul’s second century at the venue, the most by any overseas batter in Tests, and also his seventh ton in the format outside of India. Rahul is also the second Indian wicketkeeper-batter to score a hundred in Tests in South Africa after Rishabh Pant made one at Cape Town in January 2022.
“Dilip Vengsarkar had scored three consecutive hundreds at Lord’s and was out on 52 the fourth time. That is why he was called the ‘Lord of Lord’s.’ Similarly, we can say that KL Rahul is the ‘Centurion of Centurion’,” added Gavaskar.
(With IANS Inputs)