India’s KL Rahul scored a century against England in the second ODI of the ongoing three-match series in Pune.

Rahul, who was under the scrutiny of cricket experts and fans during the T20I series, played a crucial knock in the first ODI to signal his return to run-scoring form. He carried the momentum forward with a great knock in the second match on Friday and performed a unique “shut out the noise” celebration after reaching the three-figure mark.

“It is self-explanatory. It is just to shut out the noise; no disrespect to anyone. There are people out there who try to pull you down and criticise you. At times, you need to neglect them. So, that’s just a message to shut out that noise,” said Rahul when asked about his celebration during the innings break.

The 28-year-old had scored 1, 0, 0, and 14 in his last four T20I innings. Questions were raised on the team management for giving Rahul so many opportunities, but batting coach Vikram Rathour and captain Virat Kohli backed him.

“Scoring runs makes you confident, and that’s what you want to do. I couldn’t score runs in the T20s, but sometimes you have to go through the journey. A few quality shots eased my nerves,” added the right-handed batsman.

Rahul added a 121-run partnership with Virat for the third wicket and then put on 113 runs with Rishabh Pant for the fourth wicket, guiding India to a competitive total.

“It was a hot day and it was important for us to get a partnership. [I am] really happy I was able to build those partnerships with Virat and Rishabh. When Virat and I were batting, we needed anything around 300. I am so happy with this total.”

Chasing 337 to win, England capitalised on a flying start provided by Jonny Bairstow (124 off 112) and Jason Roy (55 off 52) as the visitors gunned down the target in just 43.3 overs with six wickets in hand.

Ben Stokes’ (99 off 62) breathtaking knock got all on the edge of their seats, but the all-rounder missed out on a deserving hundred after a blazing 165-run stand with Bairstow.

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