Australia vs India at Wankhade Stadium Rahul and Jadeja rule the pitch
By Sunil Sarpal
Yesterday’s encounter, on 17th March 2023, between visiting Australia vs India at Wankhade Stadium proved a nightmare for the batters. It was a day-night one- day match. Australia upon winning the toss chose to make the first use of the pitch and elected to bat first. There was help on offer for the fast bowlers. The ball was moving in the air and off the pitch too. There is a saying – when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. For Mitchel Marsh who was an in-form batsman from Australia, the batting was to his liking. He hit some huge sixes and dominated the proceedings with his power hitting. On the other end, batters were struggling to cope up with movement. It was the golden arm of Ravinder Jadeja who undid the proceeding and took Marsh’s scalp. There was no other batsman who could settle down to post a formidable score on the board. Jadeja’s made his presence felt in fielding when he took a diving catch and stalled the proceedings. Australia could post a paltry score of 188 runs in a 50 over encounter. Shami and Siraj were among the wickets. Jadeja too was economical and restrictive in bowling. His line and length were spot on and did not allow Aussis to freeze arm.
Indian batting started on a dismal note when the opener Ishan Kishan perished early to Mitchel Starc LBW. Kohli too was in all sorts of trouble against the moving ball and was not at all in his elements. He too perished early leaving Gill and Rahul to steady the ship. There were chances on offer in the slip cordon but Gill was lucky to survive and played some trade mark shots. He too could not trouble score board much and lost his scalp scoring just 20 runs. Surya came and left on the first ball, LBW to Starc – the most successful bowler from Australia.
Both Rahul and Jadeja provided stability to Indian innings. Both played disciplined knocks and took the Indian side to victory.
By no yardstick the pitch offered a run feast required in a 50 over encounter. It was a fast bowlers paradise. KL Rahul’s grit and unflinching determination in the company of Jadeja proved handful for India and won the match for India. All credit for this win should go to the duo.
Lastly one thing I like to mention that Jadeja’s graph as a genuine all- rounder – be it bowling spin, batting, especially fielding and catching is commendable. Although Rahul’s discipline and score deserves man-of the match award but Jadeja’s brilliance in all walks of the game deserve standing ovation from the followers of the game. Somebody even compared him to the legend Sir Gary Sobers.