Pune | Jagran Sports Desk: After struggling for most of the T20I series against England, Kannur Lokesh Rahul on Friday announced his return to form and scored his fifth one-day international (ODI) series in the second one-day match against the Three Lions at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium.

Rahul, who was promoted to the number four spot after the injury of Shreyas Iyer, scored 108 runs off 114 balls, hitting seven fours and two massive sixes during his innings. Interestingly, this was the second ODI hundred hit by an Indian batsman since February last year. Notably, it was Rahul only who had scored an ODI hundred for India last time.

Talking about Rahul's innings, the 28-year-old batsman came to the crease at a time when India was in a spot of bother after they lost their openers -- Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan -- early in the innings.

Rahul formed an important partnership with skipper Virat Kohli (66 off 79 balls) to help India make a comeback in the game. Following Kohli's departure, Rahul and Rishabh Pant (77 off 40 balls) led the fightback for India, helping them post a massive total in their 50 overs against England at the second ODI.

Rahul was under pressure ahead of the ODI series after he scored just 15 runs -- including two ducks -- in his four innings in the five-match T20I series against England. He, however, made a strong comeback in the first ODI game and scored a solitary half-century.

Skipper Kohli also backed 'selfless' Rahul and called him a "champion player". Kohli had said that he also went through a lean patch prior to his consecutive fifties in the T20I series against England.

"He (KL Rahul) has been a champions player. He'll continue to be one of our main players along with Rohit at the top of the order. It's a matter of five-six balls in this format," he had said earlier at a press conference.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma