India make World Cup statement by crumbling Australia
Captain Kohli’s gesture won the hearts as he maintained the “Spirit of Cricket”
New Delhi: Team India beat Australia by 36 runs at Oval in London on Sunday. While India put up a massive score of 352 at the loss of six wickets, they did manage to pack up the Australians for 316.
Apart from the clinical performance by team India, another highlight of the match was the grand gesture by Virat Kohli that won respect and hearts all over the world.
Kohli’s Heart-Winning Gesture
Steve Smith was being booed by Indian fans both while fielding in the deep and later when he came to bat. Kohli stepped up and urged the fans to stop booing and gestured them with folded hands to rather clap for the sporting legend.
A thankful Smith was later seen shaking hands with Kohli for his gesture.
In a post-match press conference, Kohli said, “Just because there are so many Indian fans here, I don’t want them to set a bad example. He (Smith) didn’t do anything to be booed in my opinion. I felt for him and told him sorry on behalf of the crowd. In my opinion, that’s not acceptable.”
Coming to the match, by beating South Africa at Southampton India had made a statement. But by winning this match with the team collectively performing, team India made their presence felt; albeit a few misfields here and there.
Australia had meanwhile reinforced their persona of a resurgence with two straight wins. And India couldn’t afford to fall behind, their late start in the tournament notwithstanding.
The Oval was all about batting, Man of the Match Shikhar Dhawan (117 in 109) laid the foundation. Kohli provided the much-needed stability and later Hardik Pandya fulfilling the role of a pinch hitter. Even KL Rahul shunted down in search of quick runs.
Australian bowlers had to rally around despite having a total that looked good on the board.
David Warner and Aaron Finch had got Australia off to a start identical to India’s in the first 13 overs until Finch’s run-out. Steve Smith negated the boos that welcomed him with a smart fifty, and even Usman Khawaja had shown some spunk while Glenn Maxwell gave India a scare from the moment he came out and crunched a clean on-drive against India’s best pacer.
Not backing down from the challenge, Bhuveneswar Kumar (3 wickets), Jasprit Bumrah (3 wickets) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2 wickets) made sure that the wickets fell at regular intervals.
Though many do not need a reminder that India are top contenders for the coveted World Cup, but this win just ensured why that’s the case.