In a thrilling encounter at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday, October 8, India put up a remarkable performance to secure a decisive win against Australia in their opening match of the World Cup. With a splendid display of spin bowling and an impressive chase, India outshone their opponents to secure a six-wicket victory.
Australia was put to bat first, and they struggled to find their footing on a pitch that offered considerable assistance to spin bowlers. India’s spin trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and R Ashwin posed significant challenges to the Australian batsmen, ultimately restricting them to a modest total of 199. Steve Smith’s 46 and David Warner’s 41 were the only notable contributions from the Australian side. Ravindra Jadeja was the star with the ball for India, claiming three crucial wickets for just 28 runs.
India’s chase, however, didn’t start as smoothly as they had hoped. Ishan Kishan, who replaced Shubman Gill in the opening slot, fell in the first over, caught at slip while chasing a wide delivery. The situation worsened as Josh Hazlewood dismissed both Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer for ducks in the second over, leaving India at 5/3.
The turning point for India came when KL Rahul and Virat Kohli took charge of the innings. Despite early struggles, they steadied the ship and slowly rebuilt India’s innings. At the end of the powerplay, India had only managed 27 runs, but they gradually increased the scoring rate, adding 53 in the next ten overs. While Australia’s spinners struggled to create an impact, Kohli and Rahul capitalized on loose deliveries and built a partnership. Kohli played a crucial role, contributing 85 runs to the chase, but he fell just short of a century when Hazlewood claimed his third wicket.
KL Rahul, the anchor of the Indian innings, almost reached a century before being dismissed for 96, narrowly missing out on the milestone. India eventually reached the target with six wickets in hand and 52 balls to spare.
In the end, India’s clinical spin performance in the middle overs and the crucial partnership between KL Rahul and Virat Kohli sealed a memorable victory in their World Cup campaign opener. This win sets a positive tone for India in the tournament, and they will look to build on this success in their upcoming matches.