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IND vs AUS 2022-23, 1st ODI: KL Rahul's patient unbeaten 75 steers India home; social media delighted

IND vs AUS 2022-23: India took the fight to Australia and won the opening Mumbai ODI by five wickets on Friday. KL Rahul played a patient knock of an unbeaten 75, which played a pivotal role in the victory, delighting social media.

IND vs AUS 2022-23, Mumbai/1st ODI: KL Rahul patient unbeaten 75 steers India home against Australia; social media delighted-ayh
First Published Mar 17, 2023, 8:54 PM IST

After an entertaining four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India won 2-1, it was tested by plotting Australia in the opening One-Day International (ODI) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. In what turned out to be a low-scoring workout, wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul's patient knock of unbeaten 75 played a crucial role in helping the Men in Blue draw first blood in the three-match series, as social media was delighted by his return to form.

Winning the toss, the Indians opted to bowl first, bringing in chinaman wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav for leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. At the same time, the Australians rested veteran violent opener David Warner due to fitness issues. The visitors lost Travis Head (5) in the second over after pacer Mohammed Siraj played him on with just five runs on the board.

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Opener Mitchell Marsh (81) and Steven Smith (22) added 72 for the second wicket before pacer Pandya sent the latter packing in the 13th. At this time, the former brought up his 14th ODI half-century and added 52 more for the third wicket with Marnus Labuschagne (15) before falling to leg-spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the 20th at 129.

Thereon, the Indians opened the floodgates, as the Kangaroos lost wickets in a heap at regular intervals, bundling out for 188 by the 36th, with Siraj and senior seamer Mohammed Shami wreaking havoc on their batters. As for the hosts, Siraj and Shami caught three each, while the former and Jadeja were highly economical.

ALSO READ: IND vs AUS 2022-23, 1st ODI - Supporters acclaim Siraj-Shami show as their three-for halts Australia at 188

In reply, India was off to a torrid start, losing four for 39 by the 11th over before Rahul and skipper Hardik Pandya (25) added 44 for the fifth wicket. However, the latter could not hold on and fell to pacer Marcus Stoinis after being tempted to pull a short ball to the deep square-leg fielder's hands.

However, the dismissal hardly bothered the Men in Blue, as the psychological factor of chasing a low total always played on the minds despite the seaming Wankhede track. Rahul and Jadeja (45*) contributed to a 108-run unbeaten partnership for the sixth wicket, as the latter struck the winning four to see India home by five wickets by the 40th. For the Aussies, veteran seamer Mitchell Starc captured three, while pacer Sean Abbott was decently economical.

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