Thanks to splendid batting by the openers, India conquered difficult conditions to finish the day at 276/3.

Joe Root won the toss on Thursday and had no dithering in selecting to bowl first. Virat Kohli said he would have done likewise. One couldn’t actually blame both the captains’ assessment toward the beginning of the second Test among England and India. The conditions were cloudy and Lord’s has customarily preferred quick bowling.

It was the eighth time Kohli had lost the toss in however many Tests as captain in England. However, before the day’s over, he must’ve been very satisfied that the streak wasn’t broken. Because of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul’s magnificent batting, India vanquished troublesome conditions to complete the day at 276/3, and that put them well ahead in the challenge.

James Anderson was doing James Anderson things from the first over, with Ollie Robinson, who bagged a five-for in the first Test at Trent Bridge, giving him great help with the new ball. In any case, Rohit and Rahul had gone to the crease with an assurance of an alternate kind. India got to 14/0 toward the finish of 12 overs, without a boundary being hit, as the openers left the ball astonishingly, shielded near their bodies, and covered their normal, forceful impulses.

Rohit went to on score 83 off 145 and was bowled out in the 44th over, while Rahul stayed unbeaten on 127 off 248 toward the finish of the day’s play. They added 126 runs for the main wicket and exhibited Test match batting of the greatest type.

One of the astounding perspectives about Rohit and Rahul’s initial stand was the way they stayed unperturbed by the happenings at the opposite end. The two of them began gradually however when Rohit fired opening up, Rahul didn’t want to do likewise. Furthermore, comparably, Rohit never appeared to be feeling the squeeze to keep the scoreboard ticking. The two of them played stringently on the value of the ball and wound up building the ideal partnership for India.

Rahul was the in-form batsman for India heading into this match subsequent to getting an 84 in his first innings at Trent Bridge. Also, on Thursday, he further established his case for a long-lasting spot at the top of the order. His century at Lord’s was a strategic and specialized masterclass.

The 29-year-old was batting on 33 off 118 when Rohit was dismissed. During their partnership, not once did he seem tempted to keep pace with his opening partner. But once Anderson got England back in the game, Rahul switched gears seamlessly and ended up scoring 93 runs off the next 130 balls.

It isn’t easy playing second fiddle and it also isn’t easy to look for quick runs to relieve the pressure from your partner. But Rahul did both these things and he did make it look easy. When Pujara came to the crease, he upped his scoring rate immediately and got 15 runs off the next 15 balls. And when Kohli joined him, he added 25 off 30.

He had made a long, arduous journey by the time Rohit perished, but he reset thereafter and kept going from strength to strength. If the first half of his innings was an exhibition on how to leave and defend the red ball, the second was studded with some stunning strokeplay. The right-hander fancied the cover region and some of the front-foot drives he hit for four were out of the top drawer.

“It was probably the best I have seen KL bat,” said Rohit after the day’s play. “He was in control from start to finish, at no point did it look like he was confused or thinking too much. He was very clear with his plans and when you do that, it definitely works. Today was his day and he made it count.”

The first test saw the 29-year-old Rahul make his return to Test cricket after a near two-year absence after Mayank Agarwal was hit in the head batting in the Trent Bridge nets.

KL Rahul made his Test debut for India in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Australia in 2014. But his debut did not go all too well as he was dismissed for a duck.

Rahul revealed on talk show Open House with Renil, how he was disappointed and depressed with his performance and how Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma came to his aid.

“Both of them (Anushka and Virat) have been very good to me and I have a great story to tell you,” Rahul said.

“Anushka was there to watch the Melbourne match. She could see that I was down and dejected (with personal performance) while my thoughts were all over. Anushka came to my room and told me she isn’t going to let me sit alone and think about cricket and added that she and Virat are going to take him out.”