India vs South Africa: Former India Batting Coach Sanjay Bangar Decodes KL Rahul's Brilliant Knock On Day 1 Of Centurion Test
India vs South Africa: Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara departed in consecutive deliveries to Lungi Ngidi but Rahul held his end up and reached his half-century and then batted with great composure alongside captain Virat Kohli to take India to tea at 157/2.
- KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal scored half-centuries on Day 1
- The India openers shared a 117-run partnership on day 1 of Centurion Test
- KL Rahul is the stand-in vice-captain for this series
KL Rahul helped India get off to a great start on day 1 of the first Test against South Africa in Centurion. The opening batter shared a brilliant 117-run opening partnership with Mayank Agarwal in tough batting conditions to put the visitors in a commanding position after the end of the first two sessions on the opening day after captain Virat Kohli chose to bat first on winning the toss. Rahul showed great discipline and technique to nullify the threat posed by South African pacers like Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.
While Mayank took off after the initial period where both batters paid due respect to the new ball and bowlers, Rahul took his own time to get going. He though was quick to punish loose deliveries and the ones pitched up to the bat.
Mayank and Cheteshwar Pujara departed in consecutive deliveries to Lungi Ngidi but Rahul held his end up and reached his half-century and then batted with great composure alongside captain Virat Kohli to take India to tea at 157/2, with his personal score on 68.
This is a great start for a batter who struggled on his last tour to South Africa. Rahul managed to score only 30 runs in 4 innings in 2018 at a dismal average of 7.5 and had a highest score of 16.
Given the additional responsibility of being the vice-captain on the Test tour, in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma, Rahul rose to the occasion to play an important knock for the team.
Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar, who has worked closely with Rahul in the past, paid rich tributes to the batter while speaking on host broadcaster Star Sports during the tea time show.
"Wonderful batsmanship and he has put everything in it. He is getting behind the ball wonderfully well and also playing with soft hands, all the time allowing the ball to come to him and this has been the hallmark of his innings.
"Getting on top of the bounce, finding the right gaps, looking to time the ball well. All the things that you want a batsman to do, he is doing that to perfection and it is because of his efforts and his patience and along with that the partnership that he got with Mayank Agarwal, that India is sitting pretty right now," Bangar opined when asked to speak about Rahul's innings.
India are looking to win their maiden Test series on South African soil. They have lost all the series except for the one in 2010, which had ended in a 1-1 draw.