KL Rahul showed why he is one of the great batsmen in the world by bulldozing four boundaries on Day 3 of the epic Test between Pakistan and India in Sydney.
The 29-year-old opener didn’t mince his words after scoring a 95 not out to help his side reach 308/5, Pakistan opener the highest fourth-innings total for the visiting side and second-highest total overall in Australia.
“The 30-odd hour flight was the toughest part of this amazing journey,” he said after guiding India to its second successful Test in the country.
“But I didn’t have to come to this place and not win the game! I’m thrilled to have helped this team and I’m thankful to get the opportunity to play for my country.”
The India-Pakistan Test became the most exciting Test in Australia’s history after a record crowd turned up to watch a match abandoned due to bad weather.
Sadly, the crowd turnout reached only about 15,000, which was, to a heavy grating of the crowd, a number greater than Covid restrictions allow.
But that didn’t mean the main highlight of the finale was about to be spoiled by all the photos snapped of at the Sydney Cricket Ground after India eventually wrapped up its 2-1 Test series win, which was a three-Test result after the fourth Test was a draw.
Pakistani players and media then seemed to be pining for the Australia Tour of 2020 — because it was an extended tour that spanned eight weeks and saw fans turn up in droves to their adopted home ground.
It was like the last two-Test tour of a home team by a visiting side, so no wonder they hung on until well into the twilight hours. Pakistan opener
The play-offs’ discovery was a little unfortunate, but India has gone to great lengths to present itself as the team of the future as they attempt to cement their standing as kings of cricket’s subcontinent.
Sure, Australia, England, and South Africa will be tougher grounds to win games on, but India’s 2-1 win showed why Australia should be eyeing the team with a new broom in its bag.
On the first day, India looked completely out of sorts as they slipped to 32 for 3, and like Pakistan, scored just one run for almost 90 minutes.
Pakistan opener From then on, the visitors’ fortunes turned on an opening day with a pair of double-hundreds before going on to post a historic fifth-wicket record.
“Our opponents had only bowled 38.3 overs in the first innings, which explains why there was pressure on Pakistan because they didn’t really have a lot to work with,” said veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who along with the captain Virat Kohli finished on figures of 5-82.
“Our captain also worked very hard with the seamers, and we are just happy that we managed to get those spinners to bowl along with our vice-captain (Cheteshwar Pujara). We’re now playing cricket with our mouth shut.”
Meanwhile, Kohli also attributed his spinners’ fightback to his strategic backline plan.
“I was asked ‘what’s the change?’, I said that my batting had come to the fore in the first innings,” said Kohli. Pakistan opener
“With me leading our team in the second innings as well, that was extremely helpful.”
“Right across the board, there were improvements as we just keep working on the things.
“Throughout this tour, we wanted to implement our team’s strengths and work on the weaknesses.
“We do have to strive to be part of a lot of things, but all in all, I am happy with the way we have gone about our work.”