India’s opening Cricket World Cup 2023 match against Australia saw some bizarre scenes after three top-order batters were dismissed without opening their accounts. The likes of Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, and Shreyas Iyer all departed for ducks as Australia looked set to defend their 200-run total. But, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli poured cold water on the Aussie plan, taking the team to victory in the high-profile contest while producing a splendid display of batting. In a candid chat after the match with Kohli, Rahul admitted that how India lost three wickets so quickly was unprecedented.
India’s early collapse prompted Rahul and Kohli to bat as if it was a Test match, nullifying the early threat and waiting for their opportunities to score runs. The duo concentrated on rotating the strike over scoring boundaries. While the move paid off, Rahul admitted that he was quite tired after the match.
“Tired I would not lie. The only chat after 50-70 runs of the partnership was, let us conserve our energy, let us not run the twos. Once we hit it in the gaps, our instincts took over and we started running. It was nice to start the WC with a win,” Rahul said.
P.S. The local lad is bracing himself for his homecoming
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Rahul also admitted that he didn’t expect the Indian team to lose three wickets inside the first two overs. He thought Shreyas Iyer would last a few more overs after coming on but was surprised to see him being dismissed early too.
“I never expected it. You do lose a couple of wickets when the ball is doing something. But not like that. It still takes four or five overs, not 1.5 or two overs. I just came and sat when I came out of the shower. When Ishan got out, I rushed to get taped and started wearing my pads. Then Rohit got out, Shreyas too. With Shreyas, I thought he would bat at least two overs. But he was out on the first or second ball,” he added.
For Kohli, the highlight of his partnership with Rahul was how content they were with knocking the ball around.
“A highlight of our partnership was how content we were to knock the ball around and not necessarily look at our runs and balls, just fighting through the physical challenges of what we had experienced. Pressure also makes you more tense and gives you more fatigue. Just knocking the ball around, bringing down the total 10-15 runs at time, that for me I felt helped us build a big partnership,” Virat said.
Further in the conversation, Rahul said that he planned to play his first ten overs like Test cricket.
“I planned to play the first ten overs like Test cricket. I do open the batting. We have been in situations where the ball does something. So I told myself to be a bit conservative and kill Australia’s momentum. You were content with knocking it around, but also showed intent and punished them when they got off the radar,” the gifted batter said.
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