ODI World Cup 2023: Virat Kohli, KL Rahul reflect on crucial partnership against Australia - WATCH
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul reflect on their crucial partnership in India's ODI World Cup 2023 opener against Australia, which turned the tide in India's favor.
In the ODI World Cup 2023 opener against Australia, India got off to a challenging start, finding themselves at two for three by the second over while chasing a target of 200. However, Virat Kohli (85) and KL Rahul (97 not out) shared a vital 164-run partnership for the fourth wicket, ultimately securing a win for India.
Kohli explained how the challenging situation allowed them to refine their approach, saying, "It really helped both of us play in a more conventional way. Those tough situations obviously helped us to eradicate the errors and keep rotating the strike as well."
In a BCCI video, Kohli told Rahul, "The highlight of our partnership was, obviously because of the low total, how content we were to knock the ball around. (We were) not necessarily looking at the number of balls we had played or the amount of runs we had got."
"Just fighting through the physical challenges of what we had experienced in the (Sunday) afternoon, coming into the evening, then the pressure obviously makes you feel even more tense, and you start getting more fatigued than you are. The team obviously feels great after a win like that. Hopefully, we can build on this and go a long way in this tournament," he added.
Meanwhile, Rahul shared his surprise at the quick fall of wickets, which left him with little time to settle in the pavilion during India's chase. He mentioned, "I never expected it. You do lose a couple of quick wickets when the bowler is doing something, but not like that. It takes four-five overs; doesn't happen in 1.5 overs."
"I had a shower and just came out and sat, and then Ishan (Kishan) got out. I had to rush back in, get taped and wear my pads before Rohit (Sharma) got out. I thought I would get at least two overs; Shreyas (Iyer) will bat a little bit. But he got out, I don't even know when, as I was busy padding up, and then, I rushed out," he added.
When discussing his approach during that crucial period, Rahul revealed, "My game plan was to play the first ten overs like I play Test cricket. I do open the batting (in Tests), and we have played in situations where the ball does a bit."
"I just told myself that I will probably be a little bit conservative, just try to kill the momentum that Australia had. They were on a high. You (Kohli) were content with knocking it around, but you always kept showing that intent. If they pitch it up or get off the radar, you will punish them. I think they could sense that as well, and we got a couple of boundaries that way. Awkward to still be playing in front of a pavilion named after me," Rahul added.