Clinical India kicks off their World Cup campaign with a victory

India began their World Cup campaign by defeating Australia in Chennai on Sunday, October 8 with a ruthless performance. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli shone in the chase after India’s spin combination of Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and R Ashwin restricted Australia to 199 on a surface that was on the slower side.

India found the pursuit to be anything but simple. An encore was in store at Chepauk for a team that was downed 5/3 in their final World Cup match of 2019. Ishan Kishan wasted his chance to take Shubman Gill’s spot by chasing a wide delivery and getting caught at slip in the first over. Josh Hazlewood caused turmoil by removing both Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer for ducks in the second over of the chase, shocking the spectators and the dressing room. More anguish was in store.

Had Australia taken advantage of Kohli’s opportunity to misfire a pull shot a few overs later, India may have been in worse shape. Mitchell Marsh missed the opportunity, and as a result, Kohli was much more reserved in his approach. India only had 27 points at the end of the powerplay, but they gradually began to establish themselves and added 53 in the following ten. Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell were unable to have the same impact as India’s spinners, who had a field day.

When Kohli clipped Cameron Green for consecutive boundaries, he eliminated him from the attack. Rahul too had success against Zampa, scoring three boundaries in his first over. After that, the pair was pleased to rotate the strike and primarily score at the required pace of four runs per over. The two batters began to open up a little more as they edged closer to the mark, and as a result, Kohli was knocked out for 85, giving Hazlewood his third wicket. Rahul then came dangerously close to scoring a century before falling short by four runs.

Australia was bowled out for just 199 earlier in the day after being severely unsettled by India’s spin trio in the middle overs. Early in the innings, Marsh edged one behind the slips for a duck, but after that, David Warner and Steve Smith stabilized the innings by batting cautiously on a difficult surface. As Hardik Pandya discovered, Smith was harsh against anything that was bowled either too full or too short. India’s decision to insert Ashwin early also failed.

Australia had a score of 71/1 after 15 overs, and both hitters appeared poised. After Warner returned a chip, Kuldeep made a vital advancement before Jadeja took control and severely damaged the previous world champions. Before eliminating Marnus Labuschagne and Alex Carey in the same over, the left-arm spinner managed one to turn and strike the off stump for the crucial wicket of Smith.

As the final known pair of Maxwell and Green failed to save Australia, the wickets kept falling. Australia dropped from 111/2 to 140/7 as Maxwell lost his leg stump to Kuldeep, and Green gave Ashwin his maiden wicket. Without the crucial runs added in the finish by Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, the situation for Australia may have been much worse. That ultimately just served to postpone the inevitable as India cruised home with 52 balls remaining.

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