Bengaluru, August 17: Opener KL Rahul, who was adjudged player of the match in India’s resounding 151-run win against England in the second Test, was happy to see his name on the hallowed Lord’s honours board and said batsmen have shown a lot of discipline as the series progresses.
The Karnataka opener made a sublime 129 in India’s first innings total of 364, which laid the foundation for a great Indian victory at England cricket’s most celebrated venue.
He stitched together an opening wicket stand of fellow-opener Rohit Sharma, who made an equally compact 83.
“I’ve been looking at it every morning to see if they’ve put it on permanently. They haven’t — it’s still a temporary piece of paper (name on the honours boards),” Rahul said in a lighter vein during the presentation ceremony..
India made 364 in the first innings and though England took a 27-run lead, the visitors came back strongly to make 298 for eight in the second essay, setting the hosts a target of 272, which they never looked like chasing.
“To put on 360 on the board was really crucial, very happy. Been here for a couple of months now and been working really hard on our skills.
“Even in the first game at Trent Bridge the batsmen have shown a lot of discipline,” he added.
India were 209 for eight in their second innings and the match could have gone either way before Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami came to their rescue with an unbeaten 89-run stand for the ninth wicket.
It was kind of role reversals for Bumrah and Shami, who primary lead the Indian bowling attack, as they dug in deep with a steady partnership, which in the end proved crucial.
With the game headed for a tense finish, words were exchanged on the field regularly and Bumrah was peppered with a lot of short balls and verbal volleys from the England camp, which he dealt with elan.
Rahul sought to played down the issue, saying it happens it the heat of the monent.
“That’s what you expect with two competitive teams – great skills, and a few words as well. We don’t mind some banter. You go after one of our guys and all XI of us will come back,” added Rahul.
Both the teams go for a nine-day break before the squads re-assemble in Headingley, Leeds for the third of the five-match Test series on August 25.
There is not much of a break after that as back-to-back Test matches will follow at the Kia Oval in London (September 2 to 6) and Old Trafford, Manchester (September 10-14).
India are eyeing their first Test series win in the Old Blighty since 2007.
They have lost three successive series since then, two under Dhoni and the last one under Kohli and will be hoping to set the record straight this time.