NEW DELHI: From tottering at 2/3 to orchestrating a come-from-behind win – that’s how Team India kicked off their ICC ODI World Cup 2023 campaign against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
India lost three early wickets, including skipper Rohit Sharma for a duck, inside two overs. Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc struck in the first over to send back Ishan Kishan for a duck after the left-hander slashed at a delivery to get caught at slip.Josh Hazlewood then struck twice in one over to remove Rohit lbw on an incoming delivery and then Shreyas Iyer caught at covers also for naught.
AS IT HAPPENED
India’s chase master Virat Kohli and KL Rahul held India’s fortress and stitched a solid 165-run stand to hand India a six-wicket win to start their World Cup campaign on a winning note.
IND vs AUS: Rahul-Kohli’s Spectacular Performance, Team India win First Match against Australia
(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Here’s a look at the key moments of the exciting India vs Australia clash:
BUMRAH STRIKES EARLY TO DISMISS MARSH FOR A DUCK
India’s star pacer Jasprit Bumrah was at his best. He troubled the Australian batter from the start of the match. Burmah dismissed Mitchell Marsh for a duck to give India early success and put the pressure on Aussies. Bumrah bowled a short of a length delivery outside the off-stump. Marsh edged it to the first slip where Virat Kohli dived and took an outstanding catch.
KULDEEP GETS BIG FISHES – WARNER AND MAXWELL
After shining in the Asia Cup, India’s Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav continued his good show in the World Cup as well. Kuldeep, who picked 9 wickets in 5 matches in the Asia Cup 2023, which India won by beating Sri Lanka in the final, claimed two big wickets in India’s World Cup opener. Kuldeep broke the 69-run partnership in the 17th over (between David Warner and Steve Smith) as he bowled one full and fast that skidded a bit and Warner tried to loft it but could only offer a return catch. Kuldeep’s next big scalp was Glenn Maxwell. Glenn already looked under pressure and played a lousy slog against Kuldeep with fatal results.
PUFF OF DUST AND JADEJA’S MAGIC
Ahead of the match, Dinesh Karthik took X (formerly Twitter) and wrote: “This pitch will turn. Jadeja to have a super day today”. The prediction from DK was spot on as Jadeja Ravindra became the biggest nemesis among Indian spinners on a tacky Chepauk track as the Men in Blue rolled over Australia for 199 in 49.3 overs.
Jadeja, who knows the track like the back of his hand, courtesy of his decade-plus association with Chennai Super Kings, took 3 for 28 in 10 overs as the slowness of the surface and subtle variations used by the all-rounder became Australia’s undoing.
R Ashwin (1/34 in 10 overs) and Kuldeep (2/42 in 10 overs) also played their parts to perfection. But it was Jadeja’s show all the way as he tilted the scale in India’s favour with quick dismissals of an under-pressure Steve Smith (46 off 71 balls) and an unusually subdued Marnus Labuschagne (27 off 41 balls).
The Indian spin trio collectively bowled 101 dot balls to completely choke the run-flow. In all there were nearly 29 overs worth dot balls by Indian bowlers, phenomenal by any stretch of imagination.
EARLY BLOWS – THREE DUCKS
Facing the loss of three early wickets, including the dismissal of skipper Rohit Sharma without scoring, within the first two overs, India found themselves in a precarious position. The left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc made an impact in the opening over, dismissing Ishan Kishan for a duck as the southpaw edged a delivery to slip.
Just after Starc’s opening success, fellow pacer Josh Hazlewood struck twice in one over, first claiming Rohit lbw with an incoming delivery, and then sending Shreyas Iyer back to the pavilion caught at covers, both for naught.
VIRAT AND KL RAHUL SHOW
“How costly is this going to be?” – the commentators screamed from the commentary box after Mitchell Marsh dropped a simple catch of Virat Kohli. Josh Hazlewood bowled a short ball. Virat tried to pull and got the leading edge. Mitchell Marsh ran for the catch, grabbed the ball but spilled it in the end. Virat was on 12 when he was dropped with India tottering at 20 for 3. After that, the rest became history as the Indian run-machine didn’t give Australia a second chance and scored a brilliant 85 runs off 116 balls, while KL Rahul smashed an unbeaten 97 off 115 balls. The duo stitched 165 runs (for the fourth wicket) to hand India a magnificent six-wicket win.