KL Rahul got to his seventh hundred on the first day of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa and with it put India in to commanding position.
It was a flawless innings and did all the hard work on a tricky surface for batting in the first session. Rahul was in control of his innings even when he was closer to his hundred, where he took his time to ensure he did not miss out on the milestone.
What is special about Rahul’s centuries is that six out of the seven he has scored has come outside India. His debut hundred was against the Aussies in only his second Test in 2015 at Sydney. He followed that up with one against Sri Lanka in Colombo before a masterful 158 against West Indies at Kingston. He missed out on a double hundred against England in Chennai when Adil Rashid got him caught behind for 199. He has got two hundreds against England — one at Oval and the other at Lord’s this year in August, which he rates on the top as it came on the home of cricket and also it paved for India’s win.
Rahul had lost his place in the Indian team to Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal, but as luck would have it, injuries to Gill and Agarwal gave Rahul the opportunity, which he grabbed with both hands scoring 300 runs in the four matches against England and was the highest-scorer from team India.
Rahul from the time he made his international debut could fit the bill in all three formats, but the temperament and patience he has shown since his return to the Indian Test team speaks volumes of his determination. You don’t score six hundreds away from home in testing conditions unless you have the skills. Rahul has all the class, elegance and ability and now that he is made the vice-captain of the Test team, he won’t let this slip out.