Team India produced a phenomenal performance in the first ODI of the series against Australia, winning by five wickets in Mumbai. The side bowled the visitors down on 188 before chasing the target in the 40th over of the innings, as KL Rahul emerged the star performer with the bat; the 30-year-old batter scored an unbeaten 75 off 91 deliveries, keeping one end steady and forging an important 108-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja (45*).
India’s stand-in skipper for the game, Hardik Pandya had won the toss and opted to bowl, with Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj producing exceptional performing, picking three wickets each. Mitchell Starc, then, wreaked havoc on the Indian batters as he sent Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav packing early in the innings.
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“(We) 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,” Rahul said in a post-match chat.
“We wanted to be positive and put the loose balls away. If we are good with our footwork, we could do well and it was fun batting with Jadeja. The minute the left-hander walked in, I got a few loose ball. That happens to the best of bowlers. The left-hander walking in and that worked for us.”
Further talking about India’s performance, Rahul also lauded Shami for his performance.
“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,” said Rahul.