Captain KL Rahul ACHIEVES What Even MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli Could Not With Win Over Australia In 1st ODI KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. (Source: ANI)

India captain for the Australia ODIs, KL Rahul, led from the front in Mohali and scripted a historic victory for the Men in Blue on Friday. Stroking an unbeaten 58 off 63 balls, Rahul was one of the chief architects for Team India in the first ODI which they won by five wickets to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Chasing 277 to win, India finished the task in 48.4 overs with Rahul hitting a big six straight down the ground to complete the match.

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The chase, however, was setup by openers Shubman Gill (74) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (71) who hit fifties and stitched a 142-run stand for the opening wicket. One of the huge reliefs for India was that Suryakumar Yadav, who had been struggling for runs in ODIs, finally came good and struck 50 off 49 deliveries. Earlier, Mohammed Shami had helped India bowled out Australia for 276 in 50 overs and finished with a five-wicket haul.

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The other Indian bowlers who got wickets were Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Ashwin bowled with precision, finishing with the spell of 1 for 47 from his ten overs. 

Rahul not just displayed an all-round effort, which involed wicketkeeping duties, captaincy and batting but ended up writing history also. This was the first ODI win for India vs Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali since 1996. The last time India beat Aussies here was under the captaincy of Sachin Tendulkar. Australia still has a good record at Mohali, having won six of the last seven ODIs played here. Before Rahul, Dhoni and Virat have also led India against Australia in ODIs at Mohali but have only tasted defeat. Apart from the win, Indians must be relieved that they have been able to end this losing streak. 

Rahul was happy more with the bowlers as they took the challenge to bowl in the hot conditions and did so wonderfully. He also hailed the partnership between him and Surya which saved the day for India during the chase. “We only played five bowlers, so they had to bowl 10 overs. After Shubman got out, it was a bit tricky with the set batter out. But managed to build a good partnership with Surya, need to put myself in such challenging situations. (On partnership with Surya) We kept talking about hitting good cricket shots, rotating the strike and this is something all our batters are working on. We didn’t want to get bogged down, we were always on par so we wanted to take it deep,” said Rahul.

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