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With sensational ton, Rahul relieved to break 564-day jinx

Cardiff: In-form Indian batsman K L Rahul has heaved a sigh of relief after finally breaking his chain of half-centuries with a sublime hundred against England in the opening T20 International of the three-match series.

He scored 101 not out off 54 balls to help India beat England by eight wickets, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Until Tuesday, Rahul had gone 564 runs without breaching the three-figure mark. His last hundred also came against England, in the fifth Test at Chennai on December 16, 2016, wherein he scored 199 runs.

Since then, he had scored 10 Test half-centuries, one ODI half-century and three T20I half-centuries as well as two half-centuries for Karnataka in the 2017-18 Ranji season and six half-centuries for Kings XI Punjab in the 2018 IPL. He finally broke the jinx at Manchester.

"Trust me I know (it had been 564 days). Quite honestly I didn't know what to make of it, whether I was in form or out of form. I kept getting the fifties and was getting out. I was batting well, but somehow I couldn't get to the three-figure mark so it was quite frustrating. Being in and out of the team, injuries, and sickness, it all was playing on my mind and kept frustrating me even more, said Rahul ahead of the second T20 here on Friday.

"I realised somewhere down the line that it is still better than getting out on single-figure mark and stopped worrying about the three figures.

"I wanted it really bad and am very happy that it came here in England, in the first game of the series and hopefully I can carry that confidence forward and use the form and make

it big."

Rahul came out to bat at number three ahead of skipper Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, who had been the regular at this spot in T20Is this year since the tour of South Africa.

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