Under-fire India batsman KL Rahul hit back at his critics in style as he smashed his fifth one-day international hundred after coming at number four during the second ODI between India and England at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Friday. With this knock, Rahul once again showcased his utility and skill as the batsman in India’s limited-overs setup. His captain Virat Kohli after one of his Test hundreds, had gestured that his bat does all the talking and on Friday teammate Rahul had a unique ‘shut out the noise’ celebration after reaching the three-figure mark in the second ODI against England.

Rahul, who continued from where he left on Tuesday, played a brilliant knock of 108 off 114 balls to announce his arrival at the grandest stage. He scored an unbeaten 62 in the first ODI. He pointed his bat towards the dressing room before covering his ears to indicate that he didn’t pay heed to any critical comments for his failures in the T20 series.

“It is self-explanatory. It (the celebration) is just to shut out the noise, not to disrespect anyone,” he told the host broadcaster during the innings break.

“There are people out there who try to pull you down, at times you need to neglect them. So that’s just a message to shut out that noise,” the relief was palpable in Rahul’s voice.

“I was disappointed after the T20 series, but that’s how the game goes. Few quality shots eased my nerves. Really happy I was able to build those partnerships with Virat and Rishabh.

India ended up making 336 in the second ODI courtesy an scores from Rahul, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant.

“When me and Virat were batting, we needed anything around 300, so happy with this total. It was a hot day and it was important for us to get a partnership. Really happy with what we have achieved after 50 overs. Scoring runs makes you confident, and that’s what you want to do,” he added.

Individuals have different ways of venting their emotions and it could be very different in terms of gestures and context.

When Kohli celebrated in Perth, back in 2018, there was some mild criticism about him missing out on a hundred during the previous Adelaide Test match.

At Perth after a well compiled hundred, Kohli showed the ‘sweet spot’ (middle of the bat) with his gloves and then gesticulated that for him his bat does the talking.

The normally cool Rahul Dravid during the epic Kolkata Test against Australia in 2001, in a rare show of emotions had pointed his helmet angrily at the Eden Gardens press box.

Rahul had scored of 1, 0, 0, and 14 in the T20 International series against England preceding the ODI series. There were questions raised over the opportunities given to him while batting coach Vikram Rathour and captain Virat Kohli had backed him.