India A vs England Lions 2019: KL Rahul falls short of a well-deserved hundred while playing as captain
Indian batsman KL Rahul has rediscovered his form by coasting to a well-played 81 against the visiting England Lions. However, he would have been disappointed at falling short of a well-deserved hundred.
Rahul was made the captain of the side for the second unofficial Test against the England Lions, and was in good form ahead of this encounter. India A made four changes to their playing lineup as Karun Nair, Siddhesh Lad, Mayank Markande and Varun Aaron came into the side.
Rahul won the toss and elected to bat first. The India A side came into this match, held at the Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadeyar Ground in Mysore, riding a wave of confidence after their superb batting display in the first match.
The hosts needed to get off to a good start again and both the openers, Rahul and Abhimanyu Easwaran, seemed to have the same idea. The duo looked solid playing their defensive strokes but kept the scoring rate up by playing a few attacking shots.
Rahul continued from where he left off in the last game, starting slowly before gradually upping the ante.
India A were 82/0 at lunch; the opening duo looked settled and likely to make some big runs. Both of them took off after lunch and made attacking forays, but didn't play any loose shots. They survived the second session too and were unbeaten with the score on 169; Rahul was on 79 and Easwaran on 82.
After tea, Rahul, who looked set to score a hundred, was dismissed for 81 by Zak Chappell, who looked the most dangerous of the Lions bowlers.
Priyank Panchal then joined Easwaran and the duo put on a 74-stand, Easwaran notching up his hundred in the process. The opener eventually got out after scoring 117, and Karun Nair joined Panchal. The day's play ended after the latter was dismissed for 50.
Nair was left unbeaten on 14 and India A were 282/3 in 84.5 overs.
The hosts will look to continue playing on the second day of the match. With a lot more batting to come, the Lions bowlers must look to pick up early wickets to regain some measure of control over the proceedings.
Rahul is most likely to be selected in India's squad to face the touring Aussies in a five-match ODI and two-match T20I series which starts on February 24th.