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ICC World Cup: Australia set a target of 200 runs for India in Chennai

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In ICC Men’s World Cup Cricket, Chasing the target of 200 runs, India were 38 for 3 in 13 overs against Australia at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Opting to bat first, Australia were all out for 199 in 49.3 overs. For India, Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets. Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav bagged two wickets each.

India’s spin trio rattled Australia in their first game of the 2023 ODI World Cup in Chennai as the five-time champions were bowled out for just 199 with three balls remaining in their innings. Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin made the most out of a typical Chepauk surface to pick up six wickets between them and as a result, India are now favourites to kickstart their World Cup campaign with a win.

On a pitch where spin was expected to play a prominent role, it was Jasprit Bumrah who gave India a huge breakthrough by getting rid of Mitchell Marsh for a duck with a delivery on a good length that took the outside edge as Virat Kohli completed the formalities with a top catch. However, Steve Smith walked out with a positive outlook and fetched a couple of boundaries in the space of four deliveries.

Smith and David Warner then found the boundary thrice off an over from Hardik Pandya which forced Rohit Sharma to turn to Ashwin early in the game. The odd ball did bounce for Ashwin as Australia became watchful against spin. Smith didn’t miss out on opportunities to score however as a full delivery and a half-tracker from Hardik in the same over were duly dispatched for boundaries.

Smith and Warner were motoring along fine as Australia were 71/1 after 15 overs. On a surface such as this one, strike rotation was the key and these two were adept at it. However, Kuldeep provided India a massive breakthrough by ending the 69-run partnership as Warner hit one back at the bowler. On expected lines, the scoring rate did dip with spinners coming into the game as Australia nudged to 102 by the halfway mark.

The second half of the innings though completely belonged to the home side. Jadeja bowled an unplayable delivery to Smith that came in with the drift, pitched and turned away to hit the off stump. Smith was always the key to bat long in these conditions and his wicket gave India a big opening. In his next over, Jadeja put Australia under the pump by dismissing Labuschagne and Alex Carey in the space of three deliveries.

Australia’s hopes dwindled further when the last recognised pair of Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green departed in quick intervals as well. Maxwell lost his leg stump to Kuldeep whereas Green gave Ashwin his first wicket. From 110/2, Australia were reeling at 140/7. From thereon, Australia managed to drag themselves to 199 thanks to some key contributions from Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

Brief scores: Australia 199 in 49.3 overs (Steve Smith 46, David Warner 41; Ravindra Jadeja 3/28) vs India

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