5 Best Innings of KL Rahul in International Cricket

KL Rahul is a touch of class in this modern era of cricket. Only a few batters in the history of cricket make us fall for their batting style, and KL is undoubtedly one among them. 

Is that only the style that sets him apart? 

Definitely not!

KL is one of the Indian greats who played the game, and his match-winning innings are the proof of it. The way he brought it in and the character he showed in it speaks of his value.

Without further ado, here we look into his most promising knocks

1) 110 (262) vs Australia

Match Details:

4th Test Australia v India 

Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 

6th January 2015

This must be the hard-fought innings for KL Rahul so far.

Fortunately, Team India promoted the newbie KL as an opener in the last Test of the series right after his forgettable first game. 

The Aussies were already armed with a robust score of 572 runs on board. So it was a tough time for a rookie batter to walk in. Initially, Mitchell Starc tested KL with his fierce pace and swing. When KL managed to overcome the ‘Starc effect,’ Nathan Lyon picked up where Starc left off.

On the flipside, Rahul was very patient and composed at the beginning. He held his nerves -went on only with the Test cricket shots. Furthermore, KL’s classic batsmanship was proved whenever he hit a boundary – peaked at the right time when the bowlers got tired – waited for those rare half-volleys and short deliveries. 

Accumulation of runs wasn’t that tough a job for the prolific KL once he found his way. Finally, KL’s celebration of his century showcased what it meant for him. 

“I didn’t know how to react, I didn’t know how to celebrate. I didn’t know what just happened. I was just very happy I stuck to my plans and whatever we had discussed. I played 250 balls, which I normally don’t have to play to get to a hundred” – KL Rahul.

2) 110 (51) vs West Indies

Match Details:

West Indies v India – 1st T20I

Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, Florida

27th August 2016

Keeping the huge target of 246 in mind, the Indian batters started with a great intent to chase down. When the Karnataka Batter walked in, it was 48/2 (4.4 overs). 

Right from the first ball, KL showed a glimpse of what was coming. Especially his 16 runs of Narine’s over turbocharged him. Moreover, Rohit Sharma’s free flow from the other end ignited the stage.

KL Rahul used the thickest of the sweet spot frequently to smash the balls all around the park. Since the Windies’ medium pacers weren’t trouble-making, he efficiently seized on every fraction of length offered. At times even the good-looking deliveries were sliced off over the third man region – that had been the highlight of this innings. 

Even though India had lost the game by just a run, KL did all he could do as a world-beater. On the whole, this innings of KL showed a wide range of his T20 batsmanship.

Also Read: Top 5 Ben Stokes Innings in Cricket

3) 101*(54) vs England

Match Details:

England v India – 1st T20I

Old Trafford, Manchester 

3rd July 2018

It was a much-anticipated game between India and the English men. However, by getting the host under 160s on a typical T20-pitch, India had the upper hand when they padded up to bat. 

The early dismissal of Shikhar Dhawan had let KL walk in at an opportune time to taste the new ball. 

The feast began from KL’s six of a cover drive. Fearless cricket from KL brought in copious runs for India. 

Fair to say that the English bowlers were bemused by KL’s sheer class. His sumptuous natural timing overtook Liam Plunkett while his efficient down-the-track shots outplayed the spin masters, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali.

With a spectacular 101 off just 54 balls, Rahul guides the troops home single-handedly. But, on the whole, KL was too classy, too prolific, and too in the way. 

4) 149 (224) vs England

Match Details:

England v India – 5th Test 

Kennington Oval, London 

7th September 2018

“One of the hallmarks of sporting giants is making their opponent perform worse.” In this inning, KL did it in style. 

On chasing down a mammoth total of 464, the Indian batting lineup lost three early wickets. Then, KL, who was present at the other end, started to show some intent by countering the deliveries that were pitched up or short. 

The positive intent of KL has almost made him walk on the rope for the first few overs. But, as time passed by, he started to settle down. 

His cover drive came in for rescue whenever he was searching for runs. Out of his 149 runs, 72 runs were scored in the covers region. 

The partnership between the young tyros (KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant) was more hard for the bowling side to get past. In fact, the partnership gave KL the space to show his ramp of epic class. 

Even though the English bowlers kept trying every trick in the book, Rahul managed them with his upped technique. Eventually, KL made it look very easy on the eyes when he reached the alluring three figures.

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Also Read: Indian Batsmen with Most Runs in the 4th Innings of Test Cricket

5) 129 (250) Vs England

Match Details:

England v India – 2nd Test 

Lord’s, London

12th August 2021

A typical English cloudy morning. Any batter would have got the advice from their coach – ‘take more time to play himself in.’ But on that day, the on-form KL took that very seriously. The first boundary of KL came upon his 108th delivery. Until then, he was too busy defending and shouldering arms of the nipping inswingers and outswingers of the English bowlers. 

Soon after Rohit Sharma’s dismissal KL Rahul shifted himself from the second fiddle to the lead. In that light, Rahul got freed up with his strokes – amassing fruitful runs in a little time. Suffice to say that he became a seasoned campaigner when he went past 70 runs. From there, a century looked so reachable with the way he was playing. 

Once again, KL’s proper execution of cover drives had been the shining light of this innings, with his flick shots coming in hither and thither. 

Above all, the Indian opener’s stillness at the crease and unbelievable technique fetched victory for the side. Real strength is required to focus and push on in such conditions. 

With that match-winning knock, KL etched his name on the precious Lord’s Honours board.

Also Read: 5 Astonishing Records of Sunil Gavaskar in Cricket

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