Test Match Batting: Rahul 97 Helps Beat Australia in World Cup ODI

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India 201 for 4 (Rahul 97 not out, Kohli 85, Hazlewood 3-38) beat Australia 199 all out (Smith 46, Jadeja 3-28) by six wickets

By Prior Beharry

VIRAT KOHLI told KL Rahul to bat like he was in a Test match.

Both batsmen had to because when Rahul joined his former captain at the wicket, India were three wickets for just two runs after two overs.

India were chasing exactly 200 after Australia were scuttled out for 199 with three balls to spare.

Having won the toss, Pat Cummins, made the 2023 ICC World Hosts field first at Chennai in the day/night encounter on Sunday.


Opener David Warner made 41 and Steven Smith, at number three, managed 46. Smith was deceived by a beauty from Ravindra Jadeja who got one to turn away from the right-hander and clipped his off stump. Jadeja finished with three wickets for 28 runs in his ten overs with two maidens.

Mitchell Starc made 28 from 35 and skipper Cummins chipped in with 15 to help Australia get to 199.


Australia were off to a great start with Josh Hazlewood getting the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer for ducks. Starc accounted for the other opener Ishan Kishan who also did not trouble the scorers.

At this point, Rahul walked out to meet Kohli at the wicket.

Speaking after the match, Rahul said, “There weren’t a lot of conversations with Kohli. 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.”

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He ended unbeaten on 97 and when Kohli was caught at midwicket for 85 by Marcus Labuschagne the partnership of 165 fell four runs short of the highest against Australia in a World Cup ODI.

Kohli was dropped on 12.

Rahul was on 91 with five more runs to win in the 42nd over. He tried to chip Cummins over cover for a four (to have a chance of a century) but his shot was too good and went over the boundary. He was named the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 97.

India skipper Sharma said it was a good feeling as he commended his team’s bowling and fielding as “magnificent.”

He said, “We knew there would be assistance for everyone. Seamers got reverse, spinners bowled in nice areas. All in all a great effort.”

Losing captain Cummins said his team were about 50 runs short as it was tough to defend 200.

He said, “And facing spinners was tough. Was the kind of wicket you had to get yourself in.”


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