Tuesday 12 December 2017

Rahul falls run short of double hundred

Rahul: “I can’t stop thinking about it.” AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal
Rahul: “I can’t stop thinking about it.” AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

India's Lokesh Rahul became only the ninth player in the history of Test cricket to reach 199 before being dismissed, and then revealed: "I can't stop thinking about it."

Rahul's career-best score helped India close to within 86 runs of England's first-innings 477 as they reached stumps on day three of this Fifth Test on 391 for four.

Ben Stokes admitted the only thing England could take away from 88 overs of toil was sunburn.

But even though the Durham all-rounder cut a dejected figure, it was nothing compared to Rahul even though he had helped put India in a potentially match-winning position.

"It was a good day until I got out," said the opener. "I played positively, everything was going my way, everything off the middle of the bat, chances I took came off. It was just unfortunate that the pressure of getting a double hundred got to me. I am happy at the end of the day - 199 has helped my team - but missing out on a double hurts."

Rahul, whose side are 3-0 up in the series, lobbed a simple catch to Jos Buttler at cover when one short of a maiden Test double hundred.

The ball from leg-spinner was wide and slow. It made Rahul's downfall even more painful, the 24-year-old dropping to the floor in dismay as he realised he had blown his big chance to reach 200.

"Right now it is missing out on the double that's on my mind," he said. "It took some time to sink in. I was really disappointed because 200 is a big landmark for any batsmen. I don't chase milestones but getting a double would have been a proud moment. I am gutted to miss out.

"I was so excited about that one run I forgot to take my time.

"I felt I rushed into the shot - it's more disappointing to get out to a ball like that, it hurts even more."

Stokes took the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara on an otherwise frustrating day for England.

Asked what Alastair Cook's side could take from their efforts on a pitch offering almost nothing to spin or seam, Stokes replied: A bit of sunburn probably to be honest.

"We tried a lot but sometimes you've got to hold your hands up say they played really, really well during the partnership they had their throughout the day. Maybe we didn't get the rewards we deserved.

"We knew it was going to be tough. It's about creating energy in the field. It's the guys' jobs who aren't bowling to try and do that. I guess that's all you can do - try, try, try and take you chances when they come."

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