India 201 for 4 (Rahul 97*, Kohli 85, Hazlewood 3-38) beat Australia 199 all out (Smith 46, Jadeja 3-28) by six wickets
The hosts and favourites for the 2023 World Cup are up and running. But as clinical as India’s six-wicket victory over Australia looks on paper, there was far more jeopardy out on the field in Chennai.
With 91 to his name and five left to get, a four and a six would have taken him to three figures. Alas, too sweet a connection on a lofted drive off Pat Cummins cleared the boundary sponge at extra cover, finishing the match and leaving the keeper-batter dismayed on 97 not out.
It was particularly chastening for Australia for the match to end in such one-sided circumstances. Cummins’ decision to be the first captain to win the toss and choose to bat at this World Cup looked optimistic, especially as the second innings wore on and the ball stopped talking.
Halzewood’s 3 for 38 ended up being the only plus point in the second half. But one imagines most of the post-match debrief will centre around the inability to combat the turn and nous of Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and R Ashwin.
More to follow…