Virat Kohli and KL Rahul shine with the bat as India coast to a six-wicket victory over Australia in the World Cup of Cricket.

With a six-wicket victory over Australia, India had the ideal opening match of their Cricket World Cup campaign after surviving a top-order collapse.

India finally cruised to the mark of 200 with 52 balls remaining in Chennai because of stellar performances from Virat Kohli (85) and KL Rahul (97 not out).

When Australia batted first, they never really got going, with David Warner and Steve Smith both scoring in the 40s but unable to continue and reach the crucial large runs.

Smith and Marnus Labuschagne (27) were both bowled by Ravindra Jadeja, leaving India in a commanding position. After Alex Carey was rejected by Jadeja via lbw, Jasprit Bumrah removed Mitchell Marsh for a duck and captain Pat Cummins.

When India’s openers Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan were both out for zero runs during a dream start for Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who claimed the dismissals, they stumbled in their reaction.

However, after Shreyas Iyer also departed for a duck, leaving India three wickets down and with two runs on the board, Kohli and Rahul stabilized the ship by starting to knock off the runs and hitting 16 boundaries between them. Had Mitch Marsh held onto a catch when Kohli top-edged a bouncer from Hazlewood, the outcome may have been very different.

With a partnership of 165, Labuschagne ultimately forced Kohli to commit another blunder, and when he was caught by Hazlewood for 85 off 116 balls, India’s triumph was only a question of when rather than if.

With Rahul running out of time to complete his century, Hardik Pandya came in and managed 11 not out as India made an early statement in their quest to win the global championship once more.




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