With India in trouble at 2/3, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul stitched together a match-winning partnership as their team overcame a top-order collapse to beat Australia in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 opener on Sunday. Chasemaster Kohli showed why he’s been bestowed with the sobriquet with yet another superlative innings that was built under pressure with Australian bowlers on top.
Kohli capitalized on an early reprieve when Mitchell Marsh failed to hold on to an easy catch of the India star when he was batting on just 12. He scored a half-century and was looking set to get to a century when a pull shot ended his innings on 85.
It was KL Rahul with whom he built a partnership of 165 runs who struck the winning six as India completed a sparkling six-wicket win in Chennai to open their world cup campaign.
Earlier, Australia captain Pat Cummins chose to bat first and Jasprit Bumrah landed an early blow when Mitchell Marsh was caught by Kohli in the slips on 0. David Warner and Steve Smith led a recovery from the early jolt before India spinners took over. It was a slow pitch and Ravindra Jadeja adjusted his line and length accordingly to play a starring role with the ball and finish with figures of 3/28 from 10 overs.
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Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav picked up a couple of wickets each while Mohammed Siraj, R Ashwin, and Hardik Pandya took a wicket each as Australia was bowled out for 199.
Australia though gave India a massive scare after getting rid of both openers – Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan – for a duck each and then also accounting for No. 4 Shreyas Iyer for 0. A calm-headed Kohli regained his composure after being handed an early life to revive the chase. India will be back in action on Wednesday when they face Afghanistan in Delhi.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul’s match-winning partnership was the key to India’s victory over Australia in their World Cup opener. The duo overcame a top-order collapse to put India on course for a victory, which was eventually sealed by Rahul with a six.