KL Rahul registered his seventh Test century on Sunday in Centurion on the first day of the ongoing first Test between India and South Africa. The batsman hit a four in the fifth delivery of the 78th over to reach the century after receiving a turn-up delivery by Keshav Maharaj. He guided it between point and short extra-cover then the historic century was made.
"Simply sensational from KL Rahul as he brings up his seventh Test century 🔥," the International Cricket Council applauded the right-handed batsman. "What a knock from the opener! "
Captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat. Rahul and opener Mayank Agarwal collaborated to set up a strong platform for India with a 117-run stand, resulting in the visitors reaching 272 for three at stumps.
"A Boxing Day century worthy of every bit of applause it gets 👏🙌," the Delhi Capitals congratulated Rahul in a statement released to social media. "KL Rahul, you've been absolutely magnificent 💯💙"
Mayank had been hitting 60 off 123 balls when he was dismissed by Lungi Ngidi. Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed for a duck and Kohli lost his wicket after a 35-run knock.
"A phenomenal century by @klrahul11 here at the SuperSport Park," said the Board of Control for Cricket in India on social media. "This is his 7th Test ton 👏👏"
At the end of the 80th over, team India was 245/3 with Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease. Rahul's innings gave India 15 fours and one six. Rahul is the second Indian opener batsman to have scored a Test century in South Africa with the first being Wasim Jaffer, who scored 116 in Cape Town in 2006-07. Jaffer congratulated Rahul with a hilarious meme posted on social media.
"Welcome to the exclusive club of Indian openers with a Test hundred in SA @klrahul11 😁 very well played 👏🏼 #SAvIND, " Jaffer captioned the meme.
Bangar, others applaud Rahul's accolade
Speaking on host broadcaster Star Sports during the tea time show, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar also praised the batter.
“Wonderful batsmanship and he has put everything in it. He is getting behind the ball wonderfully well and also playing with soft hands, all the time allowing the ball to come to him and this has been the hallmark of his innings.," Bangar said when asked about Rahul's performance.
“Getting on top of the bounce, finding the right gaps, looking to time the ball well. All the things that you want a batsman to do, he is doing that to perfection and it is because of his efforts and his patience and along with that the partnership that he got with Mayank Agarwal, that India is sitting pretty right now.”
Many other prominent figures also took to social media to praise Rahul for his brilliant display, including Mohammad Kaif, Ian Bishop, and Irfan Pathan.
"He has been so so good across all format @klrahul11 brilliant 100 in difficult condition! #INDvsSA," said Pathan.
"Respect conditions, play late, stride forward, weight transfer, dot balls, drives ... kl rahul is holding online batting class please watch… what a Fantastic knockClapping hands signClapping hands signClapping hands sign @klrahul11 #INDvsSA," wrote Kaif.
"As a colleague of mine would say: "Always a pleasure, never a chore" watching a K L Rahul century. #Secure," Bishop posted.