India began their home ICC Cricket World Cup campaign with a remarkable six-wicket win over Australia, thanks to the stellar performances of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul in a nail-biting run chase.
The hosts had anticipated an easy chase after their spin-heavy bowling attack successfully restricted the five-time champions to a modest total of 199 runs, with just three balls remaining in the Australian innings.
However, India’s batting innings got off to a shockingly rocky start, with three of their top four batsmen being dismissed for ducks within the first two overs – a rare occurrence in One Day Internationals (ODIs).
Virat Kohli, who was dropped on 12 by Mitchell Marsh off Josh Hazlewood, went on to play a crucial role in the chase, scoring 85 runs and guiding India towards successful run chase.
KL Rahul, remaining unbeaten with 97 runs as India reached the target in 41.2 overs. Their partnership of 165 runs for the fourth wicket proved to be the turning point of the match.
Australia, who won the toss, struggled with their batting performance, failing to have any player reach the 50-run mark in this low-scoring encounter. Despite decent starts by David Warner (41) and Steve Smith (46), the Australian team would be disappointed with their overall batting display.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 8, 2023
lineups for the opening clash:
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: Pat Cummins (Captain), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wc), Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.