Ahmedabad: Virat Kohli (54) and K.L Rahul (66) hit the fifties before Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins wreaked havoc as Australia restricted India to 240 all out in the final of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 here at Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma gave India a blazing start, but Australia made a comeback with regular strikes to put the hosts on the backfoot. Kohli, who became the first Indian to score 50+ runs in both the semifinal and final of the same World Cup, and Rahul did revive India’s innings with cautious knocks but Australia kept taking wickets at regular intervals.
Mitchell Starc picked three while Hazlewood and Cummins bagged two wickets each to bowl out India for 240 in the allotted 50 overs. Kuldeep Yadav was the last wicket to fall as he got run out on the final ball of the innings while trying to steal a double.
Put into bat first, India got off to a good start with skipper Rohit Sharma continuing his aggressive style of play. The captain hit a brace of fours in the second over and smashed a six and a four in the fourth to give India a firing start.
Mitchell Starc dismissed Shubman Gill in the fifth over to put a break on the runs scoring but Rohit kept hitting the odd boundaries and stitched a 46-run partnership with Virat Kohli.
India went past 50 in just 6.2 overs as Kohli joined the party and hit three consecutive fours. Both batters looked good in the middle and to take the run-scoring a step further, Rohit mistimed a shot in Glenn Maxwell’s over and Travis Head took a blinder running back.
Things got worse for the Men In Blue, as India lost wickets in consecutive overs with Shreyas Iyer going back to the pavilion without troubling Australia. India were reduced to 81/3 in the 11th over.
Kohli and K.L. Rahul then steadied the ship for the hosts and took India’s score past the 100-run mark in the 16th over. The duo continued scoring at a brisk rate taking minimal chances to hit boundaries.
However, Cummins had other plans as he dismissed Kohli in the 29th over to put India again on the backfoot. Kohli, who has scored the most runs in the ongoing World Cup, departed soon after scoring his fifty.
Ravindra Jadeja, surprisingly sent in ahead of Suryakumar Yadav, failed to make an impact and was dismissed in the 36th over. As India crossed the 200-run mark in the 41st over, a final push seemed imminent. However, Starc’s return to the attack saw the crucial dismissal of Rahul.
With Suryakumar Yadav holding onto one end, India kept losing wickets as both Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah were dismissed cheaply.
Suryakumar and Kuldeep just added 12 runs for the ninth wicket before Josh Hazlewood dismissed the batter on a slower bouncer. With Suryakumar’s wicket, India’s hopes of going past the 250-run mark came to an end as the hosts got reduced to 226/9 in the 48th over.
In the end, India were only able to score 240 runs in the allotted 50 overs with Kuldeep and Mohammed Siraj 10 and 9 respectively.
India 240/10 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 47, Virat Kohli 54, KL Rahul 66; Mitchell Starc 3-55) against Australia