Rahul and Rohit reign for India despite Lord's rain on day one

By Sports Desk August 12, 2021

KL Rahul controlled day one of the second Test at Lord's, helping India move into a commanding position after being put in amid gloomy conditions by England captain Joe Root.

England had James Anderson to call on at the start of the second Test despite concerns over a thigh injury, but another fine spell from the veteran pace bowler provided only brief respite.

Rohit Sharma dug in to make 83 before Anderson (2-52) was able to intervene, while losing Cheteshwar Pujara (nine) did not disrupt Rahul en route to reaching 127 not out.

After pairing with Rohit to put on 126, the opener added 117 with Virat Kohli (42) and was still unbeaten as India reached stumps on 276-3, albeit having by that stage lost their skipper to Ollie Robinson.

The London cloud cover should have made the tourists work, yet rain delays denied England any early momentum and Rohit instead brought up a patient half-century after lunch, India reaching three figures without too many alarms.

Typically, it was Anderson who then provided the much-needed breakthrough, getting a sublime ball to nip back in and clip the top of Rohit's off stump.

Anderson continued to apply the pressure and Pujara survived an lbw review and a narrow escape through the slips. However, when his edge was found again, Jonny Bairstow claimed a simple catch.

India regrouped at tea, however, and the weather cleared to allow Rahul – passing the hundred mark with a four through third man – and captain Kohli to bat late into the final session.

The second new ball and an Anderson-Robinson attack turned up the heat just a little and Kohli edged to opposite number Root, but that dismissal did little to alter the complexion of the day or, seemingly, the match while England's desperation saw another review squandered in the closing stages.

Anderson at the fore again

England have depth in their bowling attack, but they also have plenty of injuries. If Anderson had missed out too, this testing day could have been considerably worse for the hosts.

In his 164th Test, Anderson proved as reliable as ever to offer a glimmer of hope, before Robinson (1-47) finally got in on the act, adding a wicket to the side's most economical bowling figures (2.04 runs per over).

Rahul relishes opportunity

India's batsmen rather failed to build on a promising start in their opening innings of the drawn series opener at Trent Bridge. This time, asked to have a go in conditions that should have suited England's bowlers, they excelled.

Rohit minimised the risks but still tallied 11 fours and a six, before Rahul showed off the wealth of talent India have to offer. He may not even have played if not for Mayank Agarwal's injury yet moved through the gears in impressive fashion to secure a place on the famous honours board from his 212th ball.

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