IND vs AUS, Highlights: India off to great start at ICC Men's World Cup by beating Australia

Monday, 9 October 2023 (10:56 IST)
Chennai: An unbeaten 97 by KL Rahul and Virat Kohli's cativating half-century powered India to a six wickets victory over Australia in their World Cup opener at MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.
India were in a dire strait, tottering at 2/3 and that's just when Kohli and Rahul came together and stitched a match-winning 165 runs partnership for the fourth wicket.
Kohli effortlessly absorbed the stress, regardless of the high-pressure situation, after Josh Hazlewood had rattled India early on.
The ex-India captain could have been Hazlewood's third wicket, but was lucky enough to have been dropped by Mitchell Marsh on 12.
Thereafter, Kohli hogged all the limelight, but Rahul went about his business silently, and paced up with his mate, taking pressure off him.
Mitchell Starc had Ishan Kishan (0) first ball and Hazlewood struck twice in India's second over. Rohit Sharma (0) was given leg before even after opting for DRS, but was umpire's call.
Shreyas Iyer (0) was caught at covers in the same over, and India slipped to 2/3 in three overs. Kohli and Rahul tried to rebuild, and played cautiously to take India to 27/3 in 10 overs.
Australia kept things tight as India were happy to play the waiting game. But after the introduction of Cameron Green, Kohli broke the shackles by smoking two glorious boundaries of as many balls.
Rahul too joined the party and smacked three boundaries off Adam Zampa's first over and Australia's 18th. Soon, India were 80/3 after 20 overs.
The partnership slowly and steadily began to take the game away from Australia. They needed something to happen quickly, they were to bounce back into the game. Zampa did not have a nice game and hampered Pat Cummins. Both batsmen reached their fifties and also brought the century partnership up. India were in the driver's seat at 120/3 after 30 overs.
The duo continued to play superbly and knocked around even as Cummins tried everything in the book but nothing materialised.
Before Kohli departed after picking out mid-wicket for 85, the umpires changed both the balls.
Rahul continued to milk the Aussie bowling as Hardik Pandya joined the Bengaluru lad and charged Hazlewood to smash a big six.
The winning shot came from Rahul's sixer, but was shocked to see the ball sail over for a six, instead he wanted a boundary and then went for the big one to reach his century.
Earlier, Indian spinners led by Ravindra Jadeja's three-fer rattled Australia, dismissing them for 199 in 49.3 overs.
The spinners shared six wickets among themselves with Jadeja picking up three, Kudeep Yadav two and Ravichandran Ashwin a wicket. Jasprit Bumrah was solid as he scalped 2 wickets for 35 in 10 overs, and was ably supported by Mohammed Siraj and Hardik Pandya who finished with a wicket each.
Jadeja was the wrecker-in-chief as he quickly removed Steven Smith (46), Marnus Labuschagne (27) and Alex Carey (0), leaving Australia tottering at 119/5 in 29.4 overs.
Australia lost Marsh (0) early to a beautiful ball off Bumrah which saw him edging to Virat Kohli who dived in the air to catch it.
Warner and Smith handled the situation sensibly, and the latter was looking dangerous, but the southpaw's dismissal provided the much-needed breakthrough for India.
After Warner's departure, the Indian spinners took over. Jadeja bowled a beauty to get rid of Smith and then Australian top-order fell like pack of cards.
Slipping from 110/2 to 140/7, things looked bleak for Australia, but the lower-order clung on to add another 59 runs.
Starc scored a useful 28 before Australia innings folded. (UNI)

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