India defeated Australia by six wickets on Sunday in an exciting opening match of their home World Cup campaign.
In the game, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul showed steely nerves as they led India through a tense run chase.
With only three deliveries remaining in the innings, India’s spin-heavy bowling assault stunned the five-time winners Australia by dismissing them for a modest total of 199.
However, India’s pursuit got off to a startlingly wobbly start as three of their top four batters were out for ducks in the first two overs, which has never happened in an ODI before.
Despite the early losses, Virat Kohli showed his class by producing an outstanding innings of 85 and leading India to victory after being given a lifeline by Mitchell Marsh on 12.
We didn’t want to start our innings that way, India captain Rohit Sharma acknowledged the rocky beginning. You must give the Australians credit.
Uneven shots occurred, but that happens. Credit goes to Virat and KL for establishing that successful alliance.
However, despite strong beginnings from David Warner (41) and Steve Smith, Australia will be dissatisfied with their batting effort as neither batter managed to cross the fifty-run mark. 46
Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, two members of the Indian spin trio, applied pressure, making it difficult to draw boundaries.
Kuldeep Yadav was instrumental in ending the 69-run partnership by dismissing Warner with a key return catch. Jadeja took three wickets for just 28 runs, significantly damaging Australia’s middle order.
Mitchell Starc’s late cameo of 28 runs helped Australia get close to 200 runs as they struggled to produce a respectable total.
India’s answer was a difficult chase, with Josh Hazlewood opening with a double-wicket maiden over. Rahul supplied momentum with well-timed boundaries as Kohli stood his ground and took the strain.
Hazlewood eventually defeated Kohli, but Rahul’s tenacity preserved India’s triumph by hitting a second six to end the game.
Pat Cummins of Australia lamented the deficit, saying, “We were at least 50-odd runs short. On that wicket, it would be difficult to defend 200. It was particularly difficult there because of their spinners.