KL Rahul had his double century snatched away from him in the cruellest fashion. Batting on 199 from 311 balls, Rahul, Rashid bowled a slow, loopy delivery well outside the off stump and he decided to go for it. His shot went straight down the throat of Jos Buttler at cover point and Rahul had his head in his hands. He then walked the slow painful walk back to the pavilion and while Ben Stokes came and shook his hands and Karun Nair gave him a sympathetic pat on the back. His teammates at the dressing room looked just as shocked as him.
He is not the only batsman to have lost out on a double hundred by one run. But he is only the second Indian to have fallen on the brink of crossing the 200-run mark. The first was Mohammad Azharuddin against Sri Lanka. Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev had both crossed the 150-run marks in the same innings. Unfortunately for Azharuddin, the 199 turned out to be his best Test score and he could never better his effort in the subsequent years.
The first ever player to be dismissed at 199 was Pakistan’s Mudassar Nazar in 1984 against India. Nazar opened the innings for Pakistan as they chased India’s 500 made on the back of centuries from Sandeep Patil and Ravi Shastri. Nazar was caught behind off Shivlal Yadav; his team-mate Qasim Umar ended up scoring 210.
The most recent one was Steve Smith against West Indies in 2015. Smith was chasing his maiden Test double century and was beaten by an inswinger from Jerome Taylor. Smith has since managed to overcome that with a 215 in the 2015 Ashes. Whether Rahul can emulate the Australia captain or is condemned to Azharuddin’s fate, remains to be seen.