1st Test: Zaheer Khan hails 'Rahul 2.0' after the batter hits 86 in India's first innings

With K.L Rahul scoring a fighting half-century against England that helped the hosts get into a strong position on the second day of the first Test

Hyderabad, Jan 26 (IANS) With K.L Rahul scoring a fighting half-century against England that helped the hosts get into a strong position on the second day of the first Test, former India pacer Zaheer Khan called his new avatar as a 2.0 version of his old self.

Former England cricketer Owais Shah and ex-India captain Anil Kumble also praised Rahul’s batting and its impact on the first Test being played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here.

K.L. Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja smashed half-centuries to help India grab a first-innings lead of 175 runs, ending Day Two of the first innings at 421/7 in 110 overs. Rahul slammed his 14th Test fifty to top score with 86 off 123 balls, combining patience, poise and good-looking ten boundaries while keeping the scoreboard moving.

Zaheer Khan, an expert on JioCinema and Sports18, spoke of Rahul’s batting, saying: “If we look at Rahul’s career, he has had a lot of injury concerns. There have been times when he has been injured while hitting peak form and he hasn’t been able to capitalise on this form, something you require in international cricket. But looking at the recent past, with the successful World Cup campaign and the SA series, we can say this is a 2.0 version of Rahul.”

Former England cricketer Owais Shah said Rahul did not play any horizontal bat shots and rather played with a straight bat. “If we look at his batting, he attempted the sweep shot only four times, whereas most of the English batsmen played the sweep. He played with a straight bat and got his boundaries and singles with straight bat shots. Many say, we should not play KL Rahul, but I would say he is a wonderful batsman and should play regularly,” said Shah.

At stumps on Day Two, Jadeja was batting on 81 with Axar Patel keeping him company with 33.

Former India captain and legendary spinner Anil Kumble talked about the lead India would like to take in this match. “I think these two batters (Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel) will look to stretch the lead to 250. Both of them are good batters and have got a good start. So, I think they would be looking to a lead of 245-250,” said Kumble, Expert, JioCinema and Sports18.

–IANS

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