oppn parties ICC World Cup: A Brilliant Win

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ICC World Cup: A Brilliant Win

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2023-10-09 06:39:02

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

When India were 3 wickets down for just two runs in the chase of 200, there were long faces and an eerie silence at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk in Chennai. The crowd, that had vociferously supported India when Australian wickets were falling like nine pins after a solid second wicket partnership between David Warner and Steve Smith, was silenced as Australian bowlers sent the Indian top order packing. Three ducks in a score of 2 and Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were all back in the pavilion. There was another occasion when Virat Kolhi skied an intended hook/pull when a collective gasp was heard from a disbelieving crowd but luckily for India, the catch was dropped. That, and the beauty from Ravindra Jadeja that cleaned up a set Smith who was looking increasingly dangerous, were the turning points in the low scoring match - both turned the match decisively in India's favour.

Earlier in the day, Australia won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch that was likely to get slower as the day progressed and assist spinners. When the Aussies batted, Jasprit Bumrah struck an early blow and dismissed the dangerous Mitchell Marsh for a duck. But then David Warner and Steve Smith went about their task methodically. Smith, especially, was brilliant and rotated the strike to frustrate Indian bowlers. But when the spinners came on, the scoring rate fell below 3 and the Kuldeep Yadav got the better of Warner and gleefully accepted the return catch he offered when he could not check his shot. Labuschagne was solid and complimented Smith but Jadeja bowled brilliantly to get both out. After that, apart from some resistance from Starc and Cummins, no other Australian batter could stay for long and they put up just 199.

But when India started their innings and were quickly reduced to 3 wickets for 2 runs, even 199 seemed a decent total. But Virat Kohli and K L Rahul had different ideas. They batted like Test cricket (Rahul later said Kohli asked him that since there were many over remaining and the score was small, they could do so), took the ones and twos since the boundaries were difficult to get and rotated the strike brilliantly. Apart from a rush of blood from Kohli when he miscued a shot only for Mitchell Marsh to drop the catch, both of them batted beautifully and took India home. It was disappointing that they could not get well-deserved centuries as the target was very small.