With India no longer having the luxury of all-rounder Hardik Pandya in its middle-order, wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul has remained keen on steering the ship for the Men In Blue at the ICC World Cup. Coming in at the No.5 position, the Indian batter slammed a brilliant century against the Netherlands to earn plaudits from batting legend Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday. Centuries from Rahul and Shreyas Iyer powered Rohit Sharma and Co. to a massive win over the Dutch in match No. 45 of the ICC World Cup.
Recording a perfect nine in the group stage, India remained the only undefeated side in the round-robin phase of the ICC event. After all-rounder Hardik was ruled out of the World Cup due to an ankle injury, Rahul became Rohit’s deputy for the remainder of the tournament in India. With an already-qualified India meeting the Netherlands in its final group game, Rahul flexed his muscles on the Dutch bowlers to rewrite history at the World Cup.
Rahul smashed the fastest century by an Indian at the men’s One Day International (ODI) World Cup. The wicketkeeper-batter completed his century in 62 balls against the Netherlands at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Rahul also brought up his century in style. The star batter smoked back-to-back sixes off Bas de Leede in the final over as India posted a gigantic total of 410-4 in 50 overs.
‘This is what KL Rahul is all about’
Gavaskar was all praise for Rahul after the star batter played an entertaining knock against the Netherlands. “For Rahul to get to that century with that shot, it was an incredible shot. We have seen him do that in the IPL. For him to bring it out in a World Cup to get to a hundred was just fantastic to watch. This is what KL Rahul is all about. This is the KL Rahul we know and now we are finally getting to see that Rahul which we have been sort of dying to see for such a long time,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
Rahul surpassed Rohit to score the fastest century for India at the World Cup. Indian skipper Rohit achieved the same feat in 63 balls against Afghanistan. Averaging 69.40, Rahul has scored 347 runs for India at the 2023 World Cup. Rahul-starrer India will meet Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the first semi-final of the World Cup on Wednesday.