Match Report:


Kohli, Rahul clinic downs Aussies in statement win

India's experienced duo guide them to a comfortable six-wicket win with a 165-run stand in their World Cup opener

Australia's World Cup off to rocky start as India cruise home

Virat Kohli has made Australia pay dearly for a sloppy fielding effort, enhancing his reputation as one of the best chasers in white-ball cricket to guide India to a six-wicket win in their World Cup opener in Chennai.

Australia were well in the contest after managing a sub-par 199 in challenging conditions at MA Chidambaram Stadium, reducing India to 3-2 inside the first two overs of the chase.

And they should have had Kohli back in the dugout too had Mitch Marsh been able to hold onto a skied pull shot off Josh Hazlewood when the superstar batter was on 12 and the team score just 20. But the West Australian failed to lay a hand on it as the ball hit him in the groin with wicketkeeper Alex Carey bearing down on him, narrowly avoiding a collision.

It capped a horror day for Marsh who was out caught at slip for a duck in the third over after skipper Pat Cummins elected to bat first.

Kohli – who averages 89 in winning one-day international run chases – didn't let the life go to waste, compiling a superb 85 as the hosts got home comfortably with 52 balls to spare to get their World Cup off to the perfect start.

Hazlewood (3-38) eventually got his man 73 runs and 30 overs later as another pull shot found the fielder, Marnus Labuschagne this time completing the catch, but by then it was too little, too late with India needing 33 runs to win.

KL Rahul was also crucial in navigating the chase in a 165-run fourth-wicket stand with Kohli, finishing unbeaten on 97 when he brought up the winning runs off Cummins (0-33) with a six over cover.

It's the first time Australia have lost their opening match of an ODI World Cup since 1992 when they went down to New Zealand in Auckland, and they've never lifted the trophy having previously lost to India in the tournament.

Adam Zampa (0-53), who Cummins said was "sore" in the days leading up to the match, struggled to find the same potency as his three India counterparts, with only a quarter of his deliveries going on to hit the stumps compared to Ravichandran Ashwin (45 per cent), Ravindra Jadeja (40 per cent) and Kuldeep Yadav (32 per cent).

Australia may rue their decision to bring the sole frontline spinner into the tournament after India's three-pronged spin attack of Jadeja (3-28), Kuldeep (2-42) and Ashwin (1-34) ran through their middle-order.

Their middle overs issues also resurfaced with the bat, Jadeja particularly damaging with 3-3 in the space of just 10 balls to leave his opponents reeling at 5-119 in the 30th over and swing the contest firmly in India's favour.

The left-armer produced a gem to remove Smith that turned sharply past the right-hander's outside edge and crashed into his off stump, which came just after a long delay for Smith to change his socks.

The delivery unearthed a puff of dust from the Chepauk surface in a sign of how much assistance was being offered to the slow bowlers.

Jadeja removes Smith with ball-of-the-tournament contender

"I play for Chennai Super Kings so I know the conditions here," Jadeja told the broadcaster at the innings break.

"I was just looking to bowl into the stumps because there was turn in the wicket. You never knew which one was going straight and which one is going to spin so I was just looking to hit the stumps."

Marnus Labuschagne (27) followed Smith back to the sheds after burning a review in Jadeja's next over, top edging an attempted sweep that was smartly held by KL Rahul behind the stumps before Alex Carey fell lbw for a duck two balls later.

Both Steve Smith (46) and David Warner (41) fell just short of their half-centuries, the left-hander falling between 40 and 60 for the fifth consecutive time in one-day internationals.

Warner earlier became just the fourth Australian to pass 1000 runs at 50-over World Cups after Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh before offering an easy return catch to Kuldeep.

Kuldeep's second was the big scalp of Glenn Maxwell, bowled attempting a shot that seemed halfway between a cut and a pull.

As one of the nation's better players of spin bowling, Maxwell's innings of 15 from 25 balls illustrated the Australians struggles on a challenging surface which offered significant turn for India's spin trio, with one of Ashwin's carrom balls turning like a leg-break to rip past the outside edge of Smith's bat.

Jasprit Bumrah was exceptional with 2-35 from his 10 overs, claiming Marsh without scoring in the third over of the innings and Pat Cummins (15) at the death.

Mitchell Starc (28) was third top scorer, adding a much-needed 34-run partnership with Zampa (6) for the ninth wicket as the tail salvaged what they could after the mid-innings collapse.

Starc (1-31) then enhanced his reputation as the world's most dangerous bowler in the first over of the innings (24 wickets since his debut) as Ishan Kishan – who replaced the ill Shubman Gill – wafted at a wide delivery and edged to Cameron Green at first slip to hand Australia an early breakthrough.

That took the left-armer to 50 wickets in men's ODI World Cups, the fifth bowler to reach this milestone and second Australian after Glenn McGrath who holds the overall record with 71.

Hazlewood made it three down eight balls later with a double strike in the second over as India skipper Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer joined Kishan back in the dugout without troubling the scorers.

But Australia were always up against it, falling well short of the average winning score (257) in Chennai since 2010 and having only won once in the 16 times they'd been bowled out in ODIs since the previous World Cup.

Australia travel to Lucknow on Monday where they face the Proteas on Thursday while India take on Afghanistan next in Delhi on Wednesday.

Australia's 2023 ODI World Cup fixtures

October 8: Defeated by India by six wickets

October 12: v South Africa, Lucknow (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

October 16: v Sri Lanka, Lucknow (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

October 20: v Pakistan, Bengaluru (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

October 25: v Netherlands, Delhi (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

October 28: v New Zealand, Dharamsala, 4pm AEDT

November 4: v England, Ahmedabad (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

November 7: v Afghanistan, Mumbai (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

November 11: v Bangladesh, Pune, 4pm AEDT

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa