Indian wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul scripted a remarkable Test comeback by notching up a sensational century against South Africa in the challenging conditions at Centurion on Wednesday. Irfan Pathan, the former Indian cricketer, lauded Rahul as ‘Sankatmochan,’ signifying his rescue act for the Indian team amid a precarious situation. Entering the crease at 92/4, KL Rahul showcased resilience and determination, forming crucial partnerships with the lower middle-order and lower-order batters. His aggressive innings of 101 runs off 137 balls, featuring 14 fours and four sixes, marked a triumphant return for the batter who has been grappling with inconsistent Test form.
Well played @klrahul. What impressed me was his clarity of thought. His footwork looked precise and assured, and that happens when a batter is thinking right. This century is crucial in the context of this Test. India would be happy with 245 considering where they were at one_ pic.twitter.com/Dtw9HpjAIC
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 27, 2023
KL RAHUL, THE MAN ON A MISSION.
A six to bring up his finest Test century.
HUNDRED BY KL RAHUL….!!!
A knock which will be remembered by history for a long time – a century in South Africa when the team was under pressure. This is the KL 2.0 and he’s unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/R7cYVSSt0L
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) December 27, 2023
ODI comeback – HUNDRED
Test comeback – HUNDRED
Only KL Rahul! ___ pic.twitter.com/C1AWDmxLf0
— Lucknow Super Giants (@LucknowIPL) December 27, 2023
Centurion’s Favorite Visitor
KL Rahul now holds the distinction of being the first visiting batter to score multiple centuries at Centurion, adding to his earlier ton of 123 in 2021. This achievement puts him in the esteemed company of Azhar Mahmood, Thilan Samaraweera, and Virat Kohli, as Asian batters with at least two centuries in South Africa.
Boxing Day Heroics
The Boxing Day Test seems to have a special place in KL Rahul’s heart. Making his Test debut at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, he had a modest start. However, in the 2021 Boxing Day Test at Centurion, he played a pivotal role in India’s victory with scores of 123 and 23. Now, in his third Boxing Day Test, he marked his Test comeback with a magnificent century in challenging conditions.
KL’s International Comeback Saga
KL Rahul’s journey has been one of redemption. After successfully making a comeback in ODIs, contributing significantly to India’s Asia Cup triumph and their run to the ICC Cricket World Cup final, he has now made a resounding return to Test cricket.
Despite the early struggles, India managed to post a competitive total of 245, thanks to partnerships involving Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, and KL Rahul. The Proteas bowlers, led by Kagiso Rabada, Nandre Burger, and Marco Jansen, posed a challenge, but KL’s century steered India to a respectable score.
Fan Frenzy and Social Media Buzz
As news of KL Rahul’s century spread, social media platforms erupted with fan reactions. Supporters hailed his grit, skill, and resilience, expressing joy at witnessing his stellar performance. The hashtag #KLReturns trended as fans flooded timelines with congratulatory messages and celebratory memes.