India pulled off a memorable six-wicket win against Australia to kick off their ICC World Cup 2023 campaign in style on Sunday, October 8. Virat Kohli and KL Rahul shone with brilliant fifties while chasing a 200-run target at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium. Both batters narrowly missed a chance to score a hundred and let out their frustration known with eye-catching reactions.
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer registered shocking ducks as India stumbled down to three wickets with just two runs on the scoreboard. But Virat Kohli and KL Rahul played one of the most crucial World Cup knocks to turn the game for India. Virat smashed 85 off 116 balls and Rahul scored a brilliant 97* off 115 balls to make the difference today.
After Kohli’s departure and ensuring a win for India, Rahul clearly had his eyes set on the hundred. He needed to scorch one six and one four when batting on 91* and when India needed six runs to win. But his winning shot narrowly crossed the boundary ropes for a six and the player missed out on his second World Cup century.
Rahul was on his knees in the middle of the ground after sailing India to win but soon realized of missing his hundred and displayed his disappointment.
After the game, Rahul bagged the Player of the Match award for his match-winning knock and admitted to his plan to smash a hundred. He said that he wanted to score a hundred with a six and four and added that he would target a century in the next game.
“There weren’t a lot of conversations with Kohli,” KL Rahul said during post-match presentation. “I had just taken a shower and was hoping to put my feet up for half an hour after the fielding innings, but I had to come in. Virat said that I should play like Test cricket for a bit. Happy to play this for the team. There was a bit of help for the fast bowlers early on. Towards the end, the dew played a bit of a part for them. It was still two-paced. It wasn’t a great wicket to bat on, neither was it too difficult. I think it was a good cricket wicket, that’s what you get in South of India especially in Chennai. (Last shot) I hit it too well. I wanted to get a hundred by going four and six. Hopefully some other time I can get it.”
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Australia Playing XI: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
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