KL Rahul
KL Rahul. Credit: BCCI

Riding on fifties from Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, India bounced back in style from the poor batting show in the first ODI to post a daunting 340 for 6 in the ongoing second game in Rajkot. While Dhawan and Kohli were out at crucial times, it was Rahul who made sure to propel India to a good total in the do-or-die clash.

India once again lost the toss and were asked to bat first. But unlike the first game, India openers – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan – gave the hosts a good start this time around. After sharing just a 13-run stand in the first game, Dhawan and Rohit added 81 runs in the ongoing game. While Rohit started cautiously, Dhawan looked in fine form right from the start.

Adam Zampa broke the stand when he trapped Rohit in front of the stumps to give his side the much-needed first breakthrough. Rohit, who was out for just 10 in the first game, scored 42 off 44 balls with the help of six fours. Rohit’s dismissal, meanwhile, did not change Australia’s fortunes as Dhawan found an able partner in skipper Virat Kohli.

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The world number one batsman, who had demoted himself to number four in the previous game, came out to bat at number three and as usual delivered. Dhawan and Kohli added 103 runs for the second wicket before the former missed his century by just four runs. Dhawan’s 96-run knock came off 90 balls and contained 13 fours and a maximum.

Australia then threatened to trigger another collapse when they dismissed Shreyas Iyer cheaply to reduce India to 198 for 3 from 184 for 1. But before the visitors could make further inroads in the game, Kohli and KL Rahul steadied the ship. The two mixed caution with aggression to keep the scoreboard ticking at a healthy rate.

But just when it looked like Kohli and Rahul would shift gears, a stunning effort from Ashton Agar and Mitchell Starc ended the India skipper’s knock. Kohli once again perished to Zampa after scoring 78 off 76 balls. India were then dealt another blow when comeback man Manish Pandey failed too and departed after scoring just 2.

But Rahul made sure to hold firm from one end and take India to a good total. He reached his fifty off just 38 balls and was out in the very final over after scoring 80 off just 52 balls.

Here is how Twitter reacted to India’s innings:

https://twitter.com/saurabh_sukant/status/1218133050283839488