Centurion, Dec 27: Legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar lavished rich praise on KL Rahul after scoring his eighth Test hundred on day two of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park, saying he would place the wicketkeeper-batter’s knock of 101 amongst top ten centuries in Indian Test cricket history.
Batting for just the second time in the middle-order in Tests after nine years, Rahul mixed caution and aggression well enough to counter the bounce and swinging ball while pouncing on the loose deliveries, as he took India from 121/6 to a respectable score of 245, through his knock of 101.
“I have been watching cricket since 50 years, I can surely say this hundred by Rahul is in the top ten in the Indian history of Tests, because this is a different kind of pitch. Here, a batter would never have the confidence that he is set. The ball can do anything anytime.”
“Playing such a knock despite that, especially today… he was unbeaten on 70 yesterday but only had Siraj and Prasidh Krishna for company today. When Siraj got out, (Rahul) was on 95. The shot with which he reached his hundred, no praise would be enough for it. It was a length ball and he played a shot that you would normally see in T20s. Amazing,” said Gavaskar while on Hindi commentary duties on TV.
In really testing conditions and challenging pitch which was conducive for fast-bowlers, Rahul made his comeback to Test cricket memorable by scoring one of his best hundreds in the format, with the crowd and entire Indian dressing room giving him a standing ovation. After ending day one’s play on 70 not out off 105 balls, Rahul made 31 runs off just 28 balls on day two, reaching the century with a stylish pull off Gerald Coetzee over deep mid-wicket for six.
The knock of 101, laced with 14 fours and four sixes, was Rahul’s second century at the venue, the most by any overseas batter in Tests, and also his seventh ton in the format outside of India. Rahul is also the second Indian wicketkeeper-batter to score a hundred in Tests in South Africa after Rishabh Pant made one at Cape Town in January 2022.
“Dilip Vengsarkar had scored three consecutive hundreds at Lord’s and was out on 52 the fourth time. That is why he was called the ‘Lord of Lord’s.’ Similarly, we can say that KL Rahul is the ‘Centurion of Centurion’,” added Gavaskar.