KL Rahul contributed significantly to India’s five-wicket victory over Australia in the first ODI on Friday, March 17, scoring 75 runs off 91 balls. Rahul has found the ideal position for himself in the 50-over format while batting at No. 5 in ODIs. He entered the game as India was in trouble, needing 189 runs to win, and were three wickets down for just 16 on the board in the fifth over. India lost two more wickets, but Rahul kept up his excellent batting form and took his sweet time to relax. When Ravindra Jadeja arrived, he too batted calmly and hit 45 off 69 pitches. Unbeaten runs from Rahul and Jadeja for the sixth wicket helped India win.
As the opener, KL Rahul had been having trouble in the Tests. He performed poorly in the first two Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test matches, and as a result, he lost his vice-captaincy and his spot in the starting lineup to Shubman Gill. Former Indian pacer Venkatesh Prasad, who began posting lengthy Twitter threads to address the bias against Rahul in the Indian team management, was among those who criticised him. He did not merit a spot on the side, according to Prasad and other detractors. Rahul remained silent throughout the commotion outside the dressing room. However, on Friday, after scoring a brilliant match-winning 75, he broke his silence and wrote a cryptic message for his crtiics on Instagram.
In a post on Insta to celebrate India’s win, he posted a few pictures from the game and wrote: “Anything you love requires patience.” Wife Athiya Shetty too reacted to this special knock by putting an Instagram Story on husband and wrote: “To the most resilient person I know.” Former India batter Kedar Jadhav wrote in the comments section of Rahul’s post: “This is why he is playing for India. Top knock from world class player @klrahul very happy for you Top man.”
India play the second ODI at Visakhapatnam on March 19 followed by third and last ODI in Chennai on March 22.