India on Sunday defeated Australia by six wickets in the fifth match of the ICC World Cup 2023 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
KL Rahul and Virat Kohli took control of the struggling Indian batting line as the home side had lost three wickets for just two runs in the first two overs.
The two batters built a match-winning 165-run partnership, making sure that the Blues don’t start their World Cup journey with an embarrassing loss in front of their home crowd.
Kohli contributed 85 runs while the wicketkeeper batter Rahul amassed 97 runs, leading their side to an important win.
Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood gave early blows to the hosts and removed Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer but couldn’t break the impeccable defense of the two match winners.
However, in the eighth over, Mitchell Marsh dropped Kohli’s catch when he was on 12, giving the 34-year-old a new life after an early scare.
Batting first, Australia were restricted to 199 runs courtesy of a fantastic bowling display by Indian spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
The two spinners shared five wickets between them with Jadeja picking three while Yadav getting two to his name.
It was a complete and dominant performance by the Indian bowling as all six bowlers bagged a wicket.
Ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah got two while Mohammad Siraj, Hardik Pandya and Ravichandran Ashwin got one each.
After winning the recent Asia Cup 2023 and beating the Aussies in a three-match ODI series, the Blues continued their great form.
On the other hand, things have started to get difficult for Pat Cummins as his side have one win in the last six ODIs and not having more than one natural spinner (Adam Zampa) may cause more trouble for the Aussie in spinning Indian conditions.
India will play Afghanistan next on October 11 in Delhi while Australia will take on the in-form South African side on October 12 in Lucknow.
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Pat Cummins (capt), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood