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.
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.
.@klrahul11 joins the party. Brings up a well made FIFTY off 38 deliveries.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 17, 2020
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:
rahul began the series threatening dhawan's spot and is now threatening pant's #INDvsAUS
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) January 17, 2020
Have to admire the versatility of KL Rahul. Never easy to play as a opener one day, No4 the other and only the 2nd time batting at 5 in ODIs and what a important knock he is playing for his team. #class #INDvsAUS
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 17, 2020
Team asks KL Rahul to open.
Team asks KL Rahul to bat 3.
Team asks KL Rahul to bat at 4.
Team asks KL Rahul to bat at 5.
Team asks KL Rahul to keep.
This man has done everything in the last 9 months.#INDvAUS
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 17, 2020
It is testament to the talent of KL Rahul that despite India's constant meddling with his position in the team and his role in the side he continues to excel. What a brilliant player. #INDvAUS
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) January 17, 2020
What a top quality knock from Dhawan. Deserved the hundred. Well played 👏👏 #IndvAus
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 17, 2020
Dhawan was solid, Kohli was masterful, but KL Rahul could well be playing the defining innings of this match. #INDvAUS
— Raunak Kapoor (@RaunakRK) January 17, 2020
When Virat bats at no 3, the whole innings gets the Virat Kohli flavour and why would you not want to have that? 👏👏👏#INDvAUS
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) January 17, 2020
Zampa has now dismissed Kohli five times in ODIs. Only Ravi Rampaul (6) has dismissed him more times in the format. #IndvAus
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) January 17, 2020
KL Rahul goes from a back-up opener to No.3 to No.5.
This Indian management sucks donkey balls.
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) January 17, 2020
— Matt (@Mattys123) January 17, 2020
Smiling even after getting out on 96 and missing a ton . Peak Dhawan.#INDvAUS
— ` (@FourOverthrows) January 17, 2020
WHAT THE FCK! These Aussies bsdk organize BBL to take such catches only. They practice it whole BBL. #INDvAUS
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) January 17, 2020
Anushka Sharma is angry as Virat Kohli is trying new positions with Australians but not with her #INDvAUS
— bhaavna arora (@BhaavnaArora) January 17, 2020
Success Secrets of Indian Batsmen:
Rohit Sharma – Focus on Timing
Virat Kohli – Diet and Discipline
KL Rahul – Coffee with Karan#IndvAus
— Bollywood Gandu (@BollywoodGandu) January 17, 2020
— Daniel Alexander (@daniel86cricket) January 17, 2020
Rahul is that school boy who starts getting A grades once he leaves the last bench gang. (Hardik Pandya obviously)
— Ro✨ (@lndianCaptain) January 17, 2020
Dhawan taking one for the team and ensuring Kane Richardson stays in the side for the 3rd ODI. #INDvAUS
— Manya (@CSKian716) January 17, 2020
Shikhi Dhawan most selfless player
Doesn't even care for personaly milestones!!
— V I P E R™ (@Offl_TheViper) January 17, 2020
Very impressed with Finch’s captaincy. Rotation of bowlers couldn’t have been better….hasn’t taken the foot off the pedal all through. Very easy to throw in the towel in these-flat conditions. #IndvAus
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 17, 2020