KL Rahul’s vigil at the crease finally got halted at the stroke of the Lunch break as Jonny Bairstow pulled off a one-handed stunner at second slip to break the 34-run opening stand between the former and Rohit Sharma.
It all happened on what was the last ball before the Lunch break when Craig Overton got one to angle into KL Rahul. The Karnataka opener was forced to play at it and he ended up nicking to give way should have been a simple catch for England captain Joe Root at first slip.
Instead, Jonny Bairstow decided to lunge forward in front of Joe Root and the swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman ended up plucking the ball in thin air. What made the catch even more remarkable was that Bairstow caught it with his wrong (left) hand.
The dismissal of KL Rahul came at the worst possible time for Team India as the openers had done all the hard work against a relentless English seam-bowling attack on the third morning of the Leeds Test. The wicket of Rahul meant that the session that India had threatened to win for the first time in this Test match ended up being shared.
It was a tricky passage of play for Team India’s opening duo of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul on the third morning as English seamers got the ball to hoop around corners. Ollie Robinson was the pick of the bowlers for England as the tall pacer put on a sensational display of seam and swing bowling where he consistently troubled KL Rahul with the nip-backer.
Robinson very nearly got KL Rahul with a full delivery that seemed to have pinned the opener plumb in front. The umpire adjudged Rahul leg-before-wicket but the latter reluctantly took the review at the very last second. It proved to be a wise decision as ball tracking confirmed that the ball had seamed too much and was going down leg-side.
India’s luck soon ran out though thanks to a beautiful delivery by Overton and a stunning catch by Bairstow as they finished the first session at 1-34.