'Slap to all the critics'- Fans react to KL Rahul's magnificent 70* on Day 1 of Centurion Test vs South Africa

KL Rahul is unbeaten on 70 and he will be looking to add a few more runs as this is surface where every run will count, as we have seen on India's previous tours of the Rainbow Nation.

Sarah Andrew
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KL Rahul is unbeaten on 70 and he will be looking to add a few more runs to help India put up a fighting total

KL Rahul (Source - Twitter)

Indian wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul's undeniable talent has flickered brilliantly at times, producing sensational knocks that left audiences speechless. Yet, his career has been haunted by inconsistency, a fickle companion that's tested the patience of India's passionate cricket fans. Despite this, he's amassed 195 appearances for his country, a testament to the enduring belief selectors, management, and players have in his immense potential.

A dismal performance in the T20 World Cup, coupled with India's semi-final exit saw Rahul dropped from the national side and he also lost his Test berth due to injury. The middle-order ODI slot became his sole sanctuary, where, to his credit, he'd carved a niche. Yet, the shadow of past failings in other formats and India's fervent World Cup ambitions created immense pressure for him to deliver in the 2023 ODI World Cup.

Much to the delight of fans, Rahul turned up in style. His performances were a masterclass in redemption. He silenced his critics with a dazzling display of batting prowess, amassing a remarkable 452 runs throughout the tournament. His impact went beyond mere numbers. Rahul delivered several crucial knocks, anchoring the Indian innings at critical junctures. He formed formidable partnerships, notably his 165-run stand with Virat Kohli in the opening match against Australia, laying the foundation for India's 10-match winning streak. This streak, a record in ODI World Cup history, underlined Rahul's instrumental role in India's dominant run. Though they ultimately fell short in the final, Rahul's World Cup performance cemented his place as a vital cog in the Indian batting machine.

Now after the Final, the ongoing Test series was on Rahul's radar. However, his position wasn't guaranteed as he had played most of the Test innings as an opener and both positions were occupied. Rahul has always had luck on his side and this time too, something happened that paved the way for his return to the line-up, albeit in the middle-order. Ishan Kishan who played in India's last Test. left the tour owing to mental fatigue which meant that India needed a wicket-keeper batsman. This was Rahul's moment and he was more than happy to take up the new role.

Rahul honours the faith (Again)

India backed him ahead of a specialist keeper in KS Bharat and that paid dividents yesterday, on Day 1 of the first Test. He scored an unbeaten 70 in conditions that are extremely difficult for batters. None of India's batters managed to put up a formidable score and India were in tatters at 24-3 and later at 121-6. Rahul stood up and played an inning that was worth its weight in gold. He took some blows, played some counter-attacking shots and displayed a compact technique, all in unison.

Rahul's innings have given India a decent first-innings score. Currently, India's score is 208-8 and fans will hope that Rahul can add some more runs in today's morning session as we all know that every run is important in South Africa. If Rahul scores a hundred, it will be his second Test century in SuperSport Park, having scored a ton in the first test of the previous tour as well. On that occasion, India won the game.

Here's how 'X-verse' reacted to KL Rahul's sublime knock:

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