Rohit Sharma 0, KL Rahul 131: Contrasting returns for India openers
KL Rahul (r) had formed a good opening partnership with Rohit Sharma (l) at the World Cup 2019 (IANS Photo)
- Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 0 by Vernon Philander on Saturday
- KL Rahul scored 131 runs off 122 balls vs Kerala in Bengaluru
- Rohit is set to open for India in the upcoming Tests vs South Africa
Out of favour opener, KL Rahul on Saturday responded to his critics by smashing a quickfire 131 against Kerala in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy Elite Group A match in Bengaluru. Rahul's innings lasted a mere 122 balls as he hit 10 fours and 4 sixes to help Karnataka put up 294 in 49.5 overs.
After Kerala won the toss and opted to bowl, bowler Sandeep Warrier reduced the home team to 30/2 by picking up the wickets of Devdutt Padikkal (2) and KV Siddharth (7). But Rahul stitched an 84-run stand with captain Manish Pandey (50) for the 3rd wicket to put Karnataka on the course of a big total.
Rahul later found able support in IPL hero Shreyas Gopal (31) as they forged a 98-run partnership for the 5th wicket to raise hopes of a 300-plus total. But some excellent death overs bowling from Basil Thampi (3/70) and KM Asif (3/59) helped Kerala bowl out Karnataka for 294 with a ball to spare.
Interestingly, Rahul's hundred comes on the same day, albeit in a different format, on which soon-to-be Indian Test opener Rohit Sharma was dismissed for a duck against the visiting South Africans at Vizianagaram. The performances on Saturday, however, won't affect both the batsmen's fortunes as of yet but Rahul can be said to have done his bit in giving the Indian selectors a ray of hope for his own future.
Rahul, who had a poor time in the 2 Tests in the West Indies was dropped while Shubman Gill got his maiden call-up in the Test side for the upcoming series vs South Africa. Rahul finished the recently concluded Test series in the Caribbean with scores of 44, 38, 13 and 6 in the 4 innings. He has also been accused of giving away his wicket in an injudicious manner and failing to convert good starts.