Kolkata: Sitting back and marvelling at the Indian batters toying with the English attack is heartening. At the very outset, let us make it amply clear that the Rohit Sharmas, KL Rahuls and Virat Kohlis looked unperturbed giving us the impression that they could well be batting on home soil. India finished Day 1 at Lord’s on 276 for 3 – doesn’t that say it all? Have a read!
Rahul seems to be relishing the responsibility of an opener easing his way to his 6th Test hundred while Rohit played astutely mixing defence and attack amassing yet another half-century getting back at his critics who question his ability outside the sub-continent.
The Indian skipper looked on course for a big one but as has been his nemesis, the fishing outside the off stump ended his innings in his 40s. Time to ponder VK!
Now, a word on centurian Rahul (127 NO). The Karnataka lad has played quite a few important knocks in Test cricket but this one would rank high in the list. Absolutely at home with the conditions, Rahul exhibited class and grit at the same time and what an innings. He stepped on the gas when required but didn’t indulge in any harakiri – signs of maturity.
The English bowlers tried and tried but were unable to penetrate – two 100-run partnerships (Rahul-Rohit and Rahul-Virat) somewhat demolished their confidence. English captain Joe Root must be ruing his decision to put India into bat after a gruelling day on the greens.
Now, finally coming to Cheteshwar Pujara! The India Number 3 is found wanting. Not getting runs is one thing but the pathetic mode of getting out is different. Pujara finds going tough, he is short of confidence and with the likes of Hanuma Vihari and Suryakumar Yadav waiting in the wings, the compact batsman could find himself out of reckonings unless he comes up with some magic in the second innings.
With Rahul and Rahane at the crease, India look set for a huge total unless a middle order collapse plays the spoiler. Over to Day 2.