New Delhi: Team India are on the brink of history. They are exactly a win away from scripting first ever series whitewash on Sri Lankan soil. And in the third Test at Pallekele, today the two openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul were off to a steady start with both notching up their half-centuries. But for KL Rahul, he equalled the world record by smashing seven consecutive 50-plus scores in Test cricket. ( SL vs IND: 3rd Test, Day 1 – LIVE BLOG )
The opener had long been out of cricketing action. It was last during the Border-Gavaskar series against Australia that he had featured in. After it, he was out of the Gentlemen's arena for about three months owing to a shoulder injury. He had missed the 10th season Indian Premier League, India's campaign in England for the Champions Trophy and finally the West Indies tour.
However, he had marked an impressive return back to the game in the Colombo Test when he notched up 57 runs thus becoming the first Indian opener to register six consecutive fifty-plus scores. However, as an Indian batsman, his name stood alongside Rahul Dravid and Gundappa Vishwanath. Vishwanath had achieved his feat back in 1978 and Rahul Dravid in 1998.
En route to India's 134 for no loss in 27 overs, the 25-year-old notched up his ninth Test fifty. This was also his seventh consecutive fifty-plus score in Test cricket, thus equalling the world record. His last five scores stand as – 51 n.o, 60, 67, 51, 90, 57. The Karnataka-based cricketer now finds his name alongside some of the cricketing legends like Sir Everton Weekes, Andy Flower, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kumar Sangakkara, and Chris Rogers. Interestingly, he is the only Indian to do so.
Adding to it, Rahul also has the most number of 50-plus scores in Test cricket in 2017. He is one ahead of his teammate Cheteshwar Pujara and South African batsman Dean Elgar. Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis stand at number three with five such scores each.
As for the game, after Vira Kohli opted to bat first, the two openers seemed to rampage through striking a commendable 134-run stand as they headed in for the Lunch break. Few misfields, poor bowling display, and Sri Lankans, as usual, are on the suffering end of the innings.