KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma masterclass powers India against England

Openers share a sparkling alliance to make the hosts toil on the opening day at Lord’s

KL Rahul struck his sixth Test century to put India in a formidable position on the opening day of the second Test against England at Lord’s.

He made 127 not out as India reached stumps on 276-3, putting his side in control of the game.

Between Rahul and Rohit Sharma, India provided a masterclass in how to open the innings against the swinging ball.

Under leaden skies and with drizzle in the air, Joe Root opted to invite India to bat first upon winning the toss.

England might have been shorn of the likes of Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer for this fixture, but they still have plenty of firepower with the ball.

As such, Root will have been expecting incision when James Anderson and Ollie Robinson took the new ball in such threatening conditions.

He was to be disappointed thanks to the vigilance of Rahul and Rohit.

At first, it was Rohit who made the running. The 34-year-old opener dominated the scoring in an alliance which was worth 126 in 43.4 overs.

He fell short of a first overseas Test century, though, when he was bowled for 83 by a delivery that nipped back from Anderson.

The fact Anderson was fit to play was a major boost for England. He had been a doubt because of a quad injury that had led England to call up Saqib Mahmood as cover.

He proved his worth again shortly after dismissing Rohit when he had Cheteshwar Pujara caught by Bairstow at slip for nine.

It was rare respite for England, though. Rahul took up where Rohit had left of as he raised his scoring rate, in partnership with his captain Virat Kohli.

Between them, they shared 117 for the third wicket, before England were belatedly afforded some cheer in the evening session.

Robinson had Kohli caught by Root at slip, after the India captain had reached 42 in 103 balls.

India made it through to the close with no further scares, though, with Rahul joined at the crease by Ajinkya Rahane.

Updated: August 12th 2021, 6:50 PM