India faced Australia in match 5 of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 on Sunday (October 8) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. It was both the teams’ opening games where Rohit Sharma & Co. won by six wickets, with 52 balls to spare, to get off their campaign with a winning start.
Opting to bat first, Pat Cummins-led Australia only managed 199 in 49.3 overs as Ravindra Jadeja (3 for 28) stood tall along with two wickets each from Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav. In reply, India were in trouble and reeling at 2 for 3 before Virat Kohli (85) and KL Rahul (97 not out) took India home.
The duo got together with captain Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and No. 4 batter Shreyas Iyer returning to the pavillion without opening their accounts. While Kohli was dropped early in his innings, with Mitchell Marsh giving him a reprieve, Rahul and he didn’t give the Aussies any further chance and stitched an impressive 165-run third-wicket stand.
Eventually, Rahul and Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten to take India to a winning start. After the match, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar heaped praise on Rahul-Kohli and mentioned where Australia lost the plot.
Tendulkar wrote on X, formerly Twitter, “I was surprised to see Australia bat first after winning the toss. Commendable performance by the Indian bowlers to restrict them to 199. Australia started well but I felt they missed a left-arm spinner on this surface.
The partnership between Virat and Rahul sealed the game for us. They very smartly took their time and were able to execute some superb shots. The ball surely came onto the bat much better in the second half of the game. Congratulations to #TeamIndia on a good start.”
At the post-match presentation, winning captain Rohit said, “Pretty exciting. Good feeling to come out on top. It was a good game to start the tournament for us. I thought it was magnificent, especially the fielding and we saw the effort from everyone today, conditions like this it would be tough.
Our bowlers used the conditions perfectly and we knew there would be assistance for everyone, even the seamers got some reverse, the spinners bowled in the nice areas and all in all it was a great effort. I was (nervous), you don’t want to start your innings like that, credit to the Aussies bowlers as they bowled in good areas but some loose shots as well, when you have that kind of target you want to score as much as possible in the powerplay, but credit to Virat and KL on how they went about the chase.”