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India vs West Indies: KL Rahul strengthens case as opener with brilliant hundred in 2nd ODI

KL Rahul slammed his third ODI century as he continues to strengthen his case as an opener for the Indian team.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: December 18, 2019 16:13 IST
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KL Rahul slammed his third ODI century as he continues to strengthen his case as an opener for the Indian team.

KL Rahul continued on his impressive run in the limited-overs format as the opener slammed his third ODI century during the ongoing second ODI against West Indies in Visakhapatnam. The Karnataka batsman took 102 balls to reach his ton. Incidentally, all of his centuries in ODIs have come as an opener.

He slammed his first ton in his debut game against Zimbabwe in 2016, and had to wait for three years before reaching the three-figure mark for the second time - in the 2019 World Cup game against Sri Lanka.

Rahul's place in the Indian ODI XI had almost always been under scanner, but the 28-year-old is making the case to seal the opening spot in the side. During his initial days, Rahul was played in the middle-order where his performances had been inconsistent. The presence of Shikhar Dhawan in the opening role made it difficult for the Karnataka batsman to play in his preferred role.

However, an injury to the 33-year-old Dhawan opened the doors for Rahul to impress as an opener, and he didn't disappoint. The batsman had been brilliant for his domestic side Karnataka in the Vijay Hazare Trophy (where he was the third-highest scorer) and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (313 runs in 8 matches at an average of 52.16), steering them to victories in both the tournaments.

In the T20I series against West Indies earlier, KL Rahul slammed two half-centuries in three T20Is, which made him the first-choice opener for the ODI series.

Rahul played with conviction since the beginning of the innings in the second ODI. He played aggressively against the Windies bowlers, allowing fellow opening partner Rohit Sharma time to settle on the crease and build his innings. The Mumbai batsman also reached his 28th ODI century, as the hosts are set for a big score at ACA-VDCA Stadium.

Rahul slammed 8 fours and 3 sixes during his innings. He was dismissed almost immediately after scoring the century, on 102 off 104 deliveries.

While India won the T20I series 2-1, the side faced a comprehensive loss in the first ODI against West Indies. Tons from Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope secured the visitors an 8-wicket victory in the first game.

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