KL Rahul played an outstanding knock of 75 runs in 91 balls in the first ODI vs australia on Friday, March 17, to help India win the match by five wickets. Batting at No 5 in ODIs, Rahul has found just the right spot for himself in the 50-over format. He came in at a precarious situation when India were struggling after being three wickets down for just 16 on the board in the 5th over, chasing 189 to win. India lost two more wickets but Rahul continued to bat well and took his own sweet time to settle down. Ravindra Jadeja arrived and he too batted with calmness, stroking 45 off 69 deliveries. The Rahul-Jadeja unbeaten stand for the sixth wicket eventually powered India to the win as they also took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Rahul had been struggling in the Tests as an opener. He had poor outings in the first 2 Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and was eventually removed as vice-captain, also losing his spot in the Playing 11 to Shubman Gill. Critics slammed him, including former Indian pacer Venkatesh Prasad, who started doing long Twitter threads to address the bias towards Rahul in the Indian team management. Prasad and other critics continued to maintain that he did not deserve a place in the side. Rahul stayed quiet amidst all this chaos outside dressing room. However, on Friday, after scoring a brilliant match-winning 75, he broke his silence and wrote a cryptic message for his critics 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 up an Instagram Story on husband and wrote: “To the most resilient person I know.” Former India batsman 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.