ODI World Cup 2023: India's spin trio weaves a web around Australia at Chepauk
In a thrilling Cricket World Cup opener at Chepauk Stadium, Australia put up a determined fight but managed to score just 199 runs, while India's spin trio, led by Ravindra Jadeja, wreaked havoc.
Australia managed to muster only 199 runs in 49.3 overs during their World Cup opener in Chennai. The lowest total ever defended by Australia in ICC events was 207 in the 1996 World Cup at Mohali. Worth noting, Australia has never lost a World Cup match at Chepauk.
In the lead-up, Australian captain Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to bat first, successfully clearing the first hurdle in this highly anticipated contest. The pitch was anticipated to be conducive to spin, and it indeed proved to be a typical Chepauk surface, where the Indian spin trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravichandran Ashwin wreaked havoc against the five-time world champions. Jasprit Bumrah struck early for the Aussies, with Virat Kohli taking a spectacular catch at first slip to dismiss the dangerous Mitchell Marsh without him adding to the score.
The experienced duo of David Warner (41 off 52) and Steven Smith (46 off 71) put together a partnership of 69 runs for the second wicket before the Indian spinners began taking wickets at regular intervals. Ravindra Jadeja was the standout Indian bowler, finishing with figures of 10-2-28-3. His delivery to dismiss Smith was a highlight of the innings. Jadeja drew upon his experience of bowling at Chennai for CSK in the IPL and played a pivotal role in dismantling the Australian batting lineup.
Australia's cautious approach cost them, but their lower-order, led by Cummins and Mitchell Starc, managed to contribute some valuable runs, allowing Australia to reach a respectable total given the challenging pitch conditions. Starc's late runs did frustrate the Indian captain, but Mohammed Siraj eventually dismissed the Australian number 9 on the third ball of the final over in the first innings.
Jasprit Bumrah concluded his exceptional day with figures of 10-0-35-2, while Kuldeep Yadav claimed two wickets and completed his allotted overs conceding 42 runs. Ravichandran Ashwin managed to take a solitary wicket but proved to be very economical on his home ground, conceding just 3.40 runs per over.
With the ball turning and the possibility of seam movement under the lights, the absence of Shubman Gill is a concern for India, and Ishan Kishan faces a challenging task against the likes of Mitchell Starc and company. The question remains: Can India successfully chase down this target, or will Australia make a strong statement with their defense?