England facing fight to avoid fourth defeat in a row after KL Rahul's 199 puts India in control on day three of final Test in Chennai

 
Frank Dalleres
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KL Rahul plays a shot on day three of the fifth Test between India and England in Chennai, 18 December 2016
Rahul became only the ninth batsman in Test history to fall one run short of a double ton (Source: Reuters)

England all-rounder Ben Stokes struck a resigned note after opener KL Rahul’s 199 put India into another commanding position on the third day of the fifth and final Test in Chennai.

The tourists for once neutralised India captain Virat Kohli, only for Rahul to conjure his own mammoth knock and usher the hosts to 391-4, 86 runs off England’s first innings total.

India, who have already won the series, look likely to surpass that score, leaving England in a fight to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat.

Read more: The doom-mongers are wrong, it’s not all gloomy for England

“In every game they have had someone go on and make a difference with a big score," said Stokes.

“It’s nice to see the back of Kohli, but unfortunately they had someone else there who managed to get in for them.

“We tried a lot, but sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up say they played really, really well. Maybe we didn’t get the rewards we deserved.”

Rahul's record-breaking innings

Rahul hit 16 fours and three sixes in a 311-ball innings that lasted more than seven and half hours.

He shared stands of 161 with Karun Nair (71 not out) and 152 with Parthiv Patel (71) – the latter a new Indian record opening partnership in a home Test against England.

But he became only the ninth batsman to fall just one run short of a double century with an injudicious attempt to play a wayward Adil Rashid delivery that found Jos Buttler at square cover.

What Rahul said

“I was so excited about that one run I forgot to take my time,” he said.

“It’s more disappointing to get out to a ball like that. It hurts even more. I am happy at the end of the day – 199 has helped my team – but missing out on a double hurts.”

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