KL Rahul smashed 101 off 54 balls © Getty Images
KL Rahul smashed 101 off 54 balls © Getty Images

KL Rahul guided India  to victory with his unbeaten knock of 101 off 54 balls in the first T20 International against England. India first restricted the hosts to 159 with Kuldeep Yadav taking 5 for 24. It was all Rahul in the second innings. He smashed 10 fours and 5 sixes, scoring at a strike rate of 187. India chased down the total with 10 balls to spare taking a lead in the 3-match T20I series.

In conversation with Dinesh Karthik on the BCCI website Rahul expressed his feelings: “This is very satisfying. I have a few international hundreds, but this means the world to me. This is very special because the last international hundred I got was about two years ago. I’ve been getting fifties in the IPL and Test matches, been in and out of the one-day team. It’s been a rough road in the last one, one-and-a-half years with injuries, going out. I haven’t chased anything this much, with so much heart and passion, so this innings means the world to me.”

Rahul finished Indian Premier League (IPL) as the third-leading scorer despite Kings XI Punjab not making it to the semi-final. He scored 659 runs in 14 matches with 6 half-centuries. Talking ahead on the same, he explained how he was desperately wanting to score a century after getting good starts: ”Being out of form is getting out in single-digits, but that wasn’t happening. I was getting starts, I was batting well. Obviously a couple of injuries, going in and out of the team … Not finding a spot after some time has always been tough. So to get that opportunity and deliver, to get that three-figure mark … I’ve always said that I’ve not been somebody who has chased numbers, but when I wasn’t getting the three-figure mark, that’s when I really realised how important three figures was. I’ve been working towards this, even in the IPL, to stay through and bat the 20 overs. Stay not out and try to finish as many games for my team as I can.”

India are scheduled to play the second T20I on July 6 at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.