IND v AUS 2023: “We wanted to be positive and put the loose balls away”- KL Rahul on his and Jadeja’s plans during tense chase

KL Rahul made 75* with 7 fours and one six.

KL Rahul made 75* with 7 fours and one six | GettyIndia keeper-batter KL Rahul starred with both the gloves and the bat in his team’s 5-wicket win over Australia in the first ODI of the three-match series which was played in Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on March 17, 2023.

Hardik Pandya, who made his ODI captaincy debut in this match as Rohit Sharma was unavailable due to family commitments, won the toss and chose to field first and Australia got a jolt before the start of the game as Alex Carey, their first-choice keeper flew back home due to illness. Josh Inglis replaced him in the team.

Mitchell Marsh opened the batting and despite losing partner Travis Head early, smacked 81 runs in 65 balls with 10 fours and 5 sixes, but Indian bowlers pulled things back once he got out and only Steve Smith (22) and Josh Inglis (26) made it past the 20-run mark as Australia were bundled out for 188 in 35.4 overs.

For India, Mohammad Shami (3/17) and Mohammed Siraj (3/29) were the notable performers while Ravindra Jadeja picked two wickets as well.

In reply, Mitchell Starc and Marcus Stoinis jolted India early with wickets of Ishan Kishan (3), Virat Kohli (4) and Suryakumar Yadav (0). Hardik Pandya (25) and KL Rahul then steadied the ship and took the score to 83, when Pandya was dismissed by Stoinis.

But Rahul got a brilliant partner in Ravindra Jadeja, and the duo remained unbeaten till the end, adding 108* runs and taking India to a 5-wicket win. While Jadeja made 45* runs, Rahul made 75* as India won by 5 wickets with almost 10 overs to spare.

IND v AUS 2023: Cricket fraternity lauds KL Rahul’s knock as India wins first ODI by 5 wickets

After the match, KL Rahul spoke to the commentators and said: “Saw three wickets fall down early, Starc was swinging the ball well and when he brings the ball back in, he is a dangerous bowler. Just tried to play normal cricketing shots. Got a few boundaries away and that settled my nerves. I batted with Shubman, Hardik, and Jadeja. The talk was that there’s help on the wicket but we did not want to get into our shell and play out a certain bowler. We wanted to be positive and put the loose balls away. If we are good with out footwork, we could do well and it was fun batting with Jadeja.”

Rahul spoke about how Jadeja’s entry into the field helped him and also spoke about how he enjoyed keeping on the Wankhede track which offered a bit of bounce.  

“The minute the left-hander walked in, I got a few loose balls. That happens to the best of bowlers. The left-hander walking in and that worked for us. Jaddu batted beautifully and he runs hard between the wickets. He is in great form and he knows what to do in those situations. When we started off, I didn’t think the pitch will help the bowlers that much. Once Shami came back for his second spell, he did wonders. Any team that wants to win needs to pick wickets in the middle overs. When there’s bounce, I like keeping wickets. It is a bit of a challenge when it is slow and low, it is challenging physically. The ball was moving around and I enjoy playing here at the Wankhede,” he added.

The next ODI will be played on March 19 in Vizag.

(Star Sports inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 17 Mar, 2023

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