India managed a modest 240 after being put into bat, with half-centuries from Kohli and Rahul after Rohit gave them another strong start. But Australia’s excellent bowling with the help of variations and reverse swing on a slow pitch stymied the home side, and their batsmen then chased them down with 42 balls remaining, led by Travis Head, who was named man of the match, with 137 balls. match.
“Honestly, the result didn’t go our way, and we know we weren’t good enough today. But I’m really proud of the team, and how we played from the first match,” Rohit said in the post-match presentation. This was not our day, we had tried everything we could on our part but it was not meant to be.
“Honestly, 20-30 [runs] More would be good. We talked about 25-30 overs when KL and Virat were batting. I thought when they were batting they were putting together a good partnership there and then we just needed to bat as long as we could. We were looking at 270-280 at that stage, but then we kept losing wickets. We couldn’t put together a great partnership there, and that’s exactly what Australia did to win the match. They struck up a great partnership after that three [early] “Wicket.”
Despite scoring quickly in the first powerplay and taking 81 for 3 in the 11th over, India slowed down significantly in the middle overs, managing just four overs in the period without any big hits. Rahul and Kohli were rebuilding with a partnership of 67 off 109 balls when Pat Cummins dismissed Kohli to start India’s slide as they lost their last five wickets for just 37 runs. The total of 240 was India’s second-lowest in a World Cup where they were batting first, and came after they had amassed scores of 397, 401, 326 and 357 batting first in their last four matches.
Australia got off to a nervous start in tottering conditions under the lights as they lost David Warner, Mitchell Marsh and Steven Smith in the first seven overs to reach 47 for 3. But conditions became much better for batting and once the shine faded, the ball slipped. On the bat well and Head and Marnus Labuschagne avoided any further obstructions through a century stand dominated by Head’s horn.
Another wicket soon after the third over could have opened the match, Rohit said.
“When you have 240 on the board, you want to take the wicket as soon as possible, and we did that,” he said. “But credit to Head and Marnus, they put together a great partnership and completely took us out of the game. But again, we gave it our all but I thought the wicket got a little better under the lights.
“We knew it would be a little better under the lights. I don’t want to give that as an excuse, we didn’t bat well enough to put enough runs on the board. And then in the lead-up we got those three wickets and we thought there’s another wicket we can open.” The game but again credit to those two guys in the middle for putting together that great partnership.