IND v ENG, 5th Test Day 3 Review: KL Rahul misses a merited double century

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: BCCI)

KL Rahul, who occupied the crease for almost the entire day, missed out on getting his maiden double century after he gifted his wicket to Adil Rashid six overs before the end of the play on day four.

Rahul did all the hard work but eventually fate had other ideas. A wide leg break, bowled intentionally, lured Rahul to go for a drive. But, the right-hander failed to connect the ball properly and could get the elevation, scooping an easy catch to Buttler at cover point. Dejection sucked Rahul as bent down with hands on his head. Kohli and teammates also were left stunned. Fans also could not believe.


While the majority disliked the dismissal, the eleven men fielding wearing the three lions cap were delighted more than anything else. Despite getting two key men – Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara during the session, England was, unfortunately, unable to gain an upper hand. If were neglect Rahul’s untimely dismissal in the last session, the day was a dominating one for India.

First session:

It was somewhat of a surprise when home boy Murali Vijay did not come out to open the batting for India along with his South Zone compatriot KL Rahul. However, this was soon wiped out from the minds of the Chepauk faithful present in the M Chidambaram Stadium on the day as Rahul thwarted the England bowlers.

It a session which went completely in the favour of the hosts. Rahul and Patel continued their fine work and kept the England bowlers silent for most part of the session before the latter lost his wicket in a rather unlucky manner. But until then, the opening duo had already stretched India’s overnight 60/0 to 153 runs.

The flat track continued to act as a bully for the bowlers as Rahul and Patel reached their respective half-centuries without any hassle. Stuart Broad and Jake Ball did try the bouncer strategy to challenge the duo but all their efforts went in vain. Rahul quickly launched himself with six off Dawson in the 23rd over followed by another in the left arm spinner’s subsequent over before unleashing powerful sweeps. The right-hander kept the momentum going and reached his fifty rather quickly.

Shortly after Rahul completed his milestone, India, for the first time in 32 innings reached a 100 run stand for the first wicket. The last one came against Bangladesh in 2015 when Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan put up 283 runs.

The cautious looking Patel preferred rotating the strike and helping Rahul flourish. There was no stopping. The pair got runs at a cool run rate of over 4 runs per over. England, fortunately, found some respite when Patel rushed into play a strong flick down the leg side off Moeen Ali. He looked totally committed but miscued to it and give an easy catch off the leading edge to Buttler standing in the short midwicket region. Pujara, coming at No. 3 played out the rest fo the session with Rahul who returned unbeaten at 89*.

Second session:

England had a fairly successful time in the second session managing two big wickets that Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. Pujara, the new man in, looked high on confidence but could not sustain for long. The spinners were getting good purchase off the pitch which prompted Cook to continue with his spinners.

But, Pujara, after having all the men surrounding him inside the circle, hopped out to took one on the full, and whipped it to the midwicket boundary. Rashid dropped short three balls later and Pujara once again took advantage, pulling him for another four.

The new session began with the most awaited bowling change. Cook finally brought the under bowled Ben Stokes to the attack and a quick positive result followed as the fast bowler grabbed Pujara in his second over of the spell. Stokes enticed an edge from Pujara and Cook made no mistake at slip as Pujara had to depart for 16 leaving at India 181-2.

Kohli walked in but strangelyCook pulled out Stokes from the attack to bring Broad back in operation. There was change at the other end as left-arm spinner Liam Dawson replaced Rashid at the start of the session. The young bowler, however, bowled defensive lines and all his attempt to use the rough for hi advantage were of no use as soon Rashid came back to the attack once again.

With Kohli at the end, Rahul, meanwhile, swiftly reached his fourth Test hundred, and first in India. The crowd showed their appreciation for the important knock. While the Karnataka star looked immovable, Kohli also began to find his foot, batting comfortable against the Broad – Dawson pair before the shockingly throwing away his wicket.

Broad has been quite open to using different tactics. Be it bouncers, cutter, or a nagging fourth stump line, he has been at his versatile best so far. And, this time, hi thinking nature got England a huge success, the wicket of their wrecker in the previous match.

Broad after his endless effort from over the wicket changed to around the wicket and got Kohli driving and to chip one to extra. Kohli could not meet the ball on time nd perhaps a little bit of cut n the ball helped the fast bowler deceived him and hit the ball straight to Jennings.

But, India regained the ground after two losses. Rahul found support in his Karnataka teammate. The duo batted with a calculative approach to put up an unbeaten 43 runs stand for the 4th wicket and help India finish the session on a confident note for India.

Things might have stabilised for the Indians but the session truly belonged to the tourists despite their failure to take advantage of the inroads they created early on in the session.

Third session:

Rahul and Nair continued to have an upper hand over the bowling side. Cook resisted to his bowling combination, rotating the fast bowlers and spinners from time to time. But the pair was unaffected and kept adding runs with ease to build the highest partnership f India’s inning.

Both of them added 161 for the 4th wicket to take India from 211/3 to 372/4. The only drawback, as far as from the viewer’s point of view, was the run rate which mellowed down a bit as Karun Nair chose to play with a calm approach rather than trying to mimic Rahul’s’ free flowing style. the latter also showed down a bit, maybe tiredness crept in.

The session looked perfect before Rahul was dismissed just one run short of his double century. The sparse crowd at the MA Chidambaram stadium returned home dejected after enjoying such a productive day of cricket.

Brief Scores:

England, 1st innings: 477 all out (Moeen Ali 146; Ravindra Jadeja 3/106)

India, 1st innings: 354/5 (KL Rahul 199; BEn Stokes 1/37)