WATCH: When Virat Kohli gave a standing ovation to KL Rahul for his fighting fifty at the Wankhede – IND v AUS

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India’s KL Rahul played a crucial role in his team’s 5-wicket win over Australia in the first ODI of the three-match series played at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Friday, March 17. Rahul, who is a wicketkeeper-batter, performed brilliantly both with the gloves and the bat. This victory was even more special as it was achieved under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya, who was leading India’s ODI team for the first time.

The match started with Pandya winning the toss and choosing to field first. Australia suffered a setback as their first-choice keeper, Alex Carey, had to fly back home due to illness. Josh Inglis was included in the team as Carey’s replacement. Mitchell Marsh opened the batting and scored a brilliant 81 runs in just 65 balls, including ten fours and five sixes. However, he did not get much support from his teammates, and the Indian bowlers managed to restrict Australia to 188 in 35.4 overs.

For India, Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj were the notable performers with three wickets each, while Ravindra Jadeja also picked up two wickets. India’s bowling performance was particularly impressive as they managed to pull things back after Marsh’s explosive innings.

In reply, India got off to a shaky start, losing Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav early to the bowling of Mitchell Starc and Marcus Stoinis. However, Pandya and Rahul steadied the ship and took the score to 83 before Stoinis dismissed Pandya for 25. Rahul then got a brilliant partner in Jadeja, and the duo remained unbeaten till the end, adding 108* runs for the sixth wicket and taking India home with almost ten overs to spare.

Rahul played a gritty knock of 75 not out, and it was his 13th fifty-plus score in ODI cricket. The Indian dressing room and the Mumbai crowd also applauded his milestone. Former India captain Virat, who got out for just 4, stood up and appreciated the Karnataka stalwart who took his team out of trouble during the tricky chase.

Here’s the video:





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