India defeated Australia by five wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series on Friday and it was none other than KL Rahul who propelled India to a win from a situation where it looked tough for the hosts. The wicketkeeper batter, batting at No.5 for India, soaked all the pressure and scored an unbeaten 75* off 91 balls. Although Ravindra Jadeja was named the Player of the Match, Rahul’s inning sealed the deal for the Men in Blue. Had Rahul faltered and gotten out early, India would have lost the game.
Th e knock was more special because the batter was under so much scrutiny for his failures in the longest format of the game. Such was the criticism around Rahul that the management had to drop the star batter for the last two Tests. Now, as KL was taking part in the first ODI, people had their eyes glued to the TV to see if he falters yet again. But the batter was very much in control throughout his inning on Friday.
Rahul’s match-winning knock earned him praise from all corners, including his father-in-law Suniel Shetty. As Shetty was asked to comment about Rahul’s knock, the Bollywood actor pointed towards the sky and said “"Upar wala jab hai na bahar koi kuch bhi bole."
Watch his reaction here:
Talking about Rahul’s knock, the wicketkeeper batter continued his merry run in ODI cricket for India. It was Rahul’s eighth fifty-plus score in 17 innings while batting at No.5 in the 50-over format. Also, it was the second instance when Rahul helped India cross the line in a low-scoring thriller. Earlier this year, Rahul played a gritty knock against Sri Lanka and helped India emerge victorious in a low-scoring encounter.