India Recover from Early Wobble to Beat Australia in ICC World Cup by Six Wckets
In a remarkable turnaround, India bounced back from a disastrous start in their pursuit of 200 runs to secure a commanding six-wicket victory over Australia in Chennai at the Cricket World Cup.
However, KL Rahul (97 not out) and Virat Kohli (85) came to the rescue, forging an impressive fourth-wicket partnership of 165 runs. This partnership propelled India to victory with a comfortable margin, as Rahul sealed the deal with a six after Kohli’s dismissal with just 33 runs needed.
The outcome of the match could have been different had Mitchell Marsh not dropped Kohli when he was on 12. Following that pivotal moment, Virat Kohli‘s performance was nothing short of superb, reaching his 67th ODI fifty, while Rahul notched his 16th.
Before India’s emphatic run chase, Ravindra Jadeja displayed his spin-bowling prowess, leading a masterful performance by the Indian spinners. Jadeja’s impressive figures of 3-28 included a beauty of a delivery that dismissed Steve Smith for 46 runs, triggering a significant collapse for Pat Cummins’ Australian side. The Aussies, who were at 110-2, found themselves reduced to a mere 119-5 before eventually being bowled out for 199 runs. This all unfolded on a slow pitch amidst scorching temperatures.
Playing on his IPL home ground, Jadeja played a crucial role, taking Smith’s wicket in the 28th over and following it up by dismissing Marnus Labuschagne (27) and Alex Carey (0) in the 30th over.
Jadeja received valuable support from fellow slow bowlers Kuldeep Yadav (2-42) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1-34), along with seamer Jasprit Bumrah (2-35). Kuldeep even managed to catch David Warner (41) off his own bowling after the Australian opener had crossed the 1,000-run mark in Cricket World Cups.
India’s next match will see them facing Afghanistan in Delhi on Wednesday, while Australia is set to take on South Africa in Lucknow on Thursday. South Africa recently made history by posting the highest score in World Cup history, amassing 428-5 against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Jadeja, Bumrah, Rahul and Kohli star in India Win
Despite winning the toss, Australia struggled to find their rhythm with the bat. David Warner and Steve Smith managed a 69-run partnership, but it came from 85 balls. Smith’s collaboration with Marnus Labuschagne added just 36 runs to the total.
Ravindra Jadeja played a pivotal role in India’s bowling performance, applying significant pressure on the five-time champions. He maintained an economy rate of under three runs per over and made a crucial impact by taking three wickets in just two overs. The turning point came when Jadeja’s delivery spun onto Smith’s off stump, resulting in a crucial wicket.
Kuldeep Yadav continued his impressive bowling performance by dismissing Glenn Maxwell for 15 runs. He bowled a delivery that turned sharply, hitting the leg stump as Maxwell attempted a cross-batted shot.
Seam bowler Jasprit Bumrah also made valuable contributions with the ball. He took an early wicket by getting Mitchell Marsh out for a duck, courtesy of an excellent diving catch by Virat Kohli at slip. Later in the innings, Bumrah had Pat Cummins caught at long-on as the Australian captain and Mitchell Starc (28) tried to add runs to the lower order.
Australia’s innings saw Starc being dismissed, caught behind by Ishan Kishan, in the first over of India’s chase. Kishan, who was in the playing XI due to Shubman Gill’s illness, took the catch as Starc went after a wide delivery. In the second over, Josh Hazlewood claimed the wicket of Rohit Sharma, trapping him LBW, and then had Shreyas Iyer caught at cover.
India had a close call in the eighth over when Virat Kohli played a short ball from Josh Hazlewood into the leg-side. Mitchell Marsh had a chance to catch it, but it seemed like he was hesitant due to the risk of colliding with wicketkeeper Alex Carey. As a result, the opportunity went begging, and Kohli continued his innings.
Kohli and KL Rahul then went on to neutralize Australia’s bowling attack effectively. It came as a surprise when Kohli, with the possibility of securing his 48th ODI century, swatted a short ball from Hazlewood to Marnus Labuschagne at midwicket, missing out on the milestone.
Rahul also fell short of a century, hitting a delivery from Pat Cummins over extra cover for a six when only five runs were needed. Unfortunately, this shot left him just three runs shy of what would have been his seventh ODI century.
After their convincing nine-wicket victory against defending champions England in the tournament opener, New Zealand is set to take on the Netherlands in Hyderabad on Monday, with the match scheduled to start at 9:30 AM.
Meanwhile, England will be eager to bounce back from their defeat to the Black Caps when they meet Bangladesh in Dharamshala on Tuesday, with the game commencing at 6:00 AM.