India vs South Africa: KL Rahul made a brilliant ton in the 1st Test© AFP

KL Rahul’s brave century during the ongoing opening Test against South Africa here on Wednesday drew high acclaim from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who has rated the knock “in the top ten in the history” of India’s red-ball cricket. Rahul, who walked into the middle while the Indians were four down for 92 on Day 1 on Tuesday, made a gutsy 101 off 137 balls before being knocked over by debutant pacer Nandre Burger, as the visitors were all out for 245.

Commentating in Hindi on Star Sports, Gavaskar asserted that Rahul’s knock had come on a difficult surface, where the ball was behaving erratically, and felt that the confidence needed to bat on such a track has to be enormous.

“I have been watching cricket for over 50 years now, and I can undoubtedly say this century by Rahul has to be in the top ten of India’s Test history because it’s a different pitch here,” Gavaskar said.

“A batter would not gain the confidence so easily that he has set, especially with the ball doing anything at any time.” Applauding the six that Rahul hit off Gerald Coetzee to get to his ton, Gavaskar added, “The shot with which he reached to his hundred, no praise would be enough for it. It was a length ball, and he played a shot that you would normally see in T20s. Amazing!” Rahul’s century happened to be his second at this ground. He is now the only overseas batter to have multiple Test tons here.

Striking 14 fours and four sixes during his knock, he has also become the second Indian wicketkeeper-batter after Rishabh Pant to hit a Test century in the country.

Rahul also continued his impeccable record of scoring hundreds in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries, with five of his eighth tons coming in these nations.

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