India vs West Indies: Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu star in host’s 224-run win
The Indian team management would be mighty pleased with this batting effort–not because they ended up with a mammoth 377/5 on the board–but that they did it with very little coming from the Virat Kohli’s bat, who has otherwise been the only strong pillar in the line-up.
Rohit and along with Shikhar Dhawan raced to a 71-run opening stand before the latter’s poor series continued as he only ended up pulling the ball straight down the throat of mid-wicket. Keemo Paul the bowler then came up with a Gabbar-style celebration, something that fans generally associate with Dhawan with. But the entire crowd at the CCI went absolutely quiet when Virat Kohli fell in the 17th over after he tried to fab it down to third man and instead only edged it to Shai Hope behind the wickets.
With their main man gone, India were looking down the barrel–at least one would have the luxury to think so, given how impactful Kohli has been for his team in this series.
Instead, Rohit and Rayudu joined hands and prevented the Windies from making further inroads into the batting line-up by stitching a massive 211-run partnership that took India to a position of dominance. Both these players beautifully blended aggression and caution as they took India to 312- at the end of the 44th over when Rohit fell to off-spin bowler Ashley Nurse after he skied one up in an attempt to hit a delivery outside the off-stump.
MS Dhoni stuttered yet again with 23 runs off 15 balls before he was dismissed by Kemar Roach to add to his poor form in recent times.
Having ended up with 377 on the board, the momentum was completely with India and they made full use of it as they reduced the visitors to 20/3 at one stage. This was a slump from where the Windies never really recovered. If not with the bat, Kohli made his presence felt by effecting a run-out using his wrists to flick Ito the stumps.
The entire batting line-up fell like a house of cards as none batsman could cross the 30-run mark barring skipper Jason Holder who fought his way to a 54 off 70 balls, hitting one four and two sixes.
Among those who impressed was paceman Khaleel Ahmed who made his case strong for a spot in the World Cup by snaring three wickets for just 13 runs in the five overs he bowled.
Kuldeep Yadav also ended with three scalps to his name whereas Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja took a wicket each.
This massive 224-run win gives India a 2-1 lead in the series with a game to be played.
Brief score: India 377 for 5 (Rohit Sharma 162, Ambati Rayudu 100) beat West Indies 153 (Jason Holder 54*, Khaleel Ahmed 3-11, Kuldeep Yadav 3-42) by 224 runs.