The Indian ODI team led by new captain Rohit Sharma made life miserable for the Windies at the opening of the three ODI series in Ahmedabad.
It was the 1000th ODI game for the Indians in India, and they marked the occasion with a dominant six-wicket defeat of the West Indies on Sunday.
India made the game seem like taking candy from a baby, and captain Rohit played a leading role in that take in scoring 60 runs from 51 balls.
His knock, which included 10 fours and a six, set the tone for a straightforward chase after West Indies had been bowled out for 176.
Jason Holder was the only stand-out batter for the Windies, scoring 57 to add some respectability to the Windies score as the visitors were struggling at 7 for 79 before the broad bat of Holder came into play.
Yuzvendra Chahal (4-49) was the chief destroyer for the Indians.
His co-star Washington Sundar – returning for his second ODI more than four years after his first – finished with 3-30 to help ensure an uncomplicated win for the men in blue.
An opening partnership of 84 with Ishan Kishan took any jeopardy out of the situation, as India comfortably made 178-4 in 28 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Holder the man of the hour
“For a better part of the last seven years, Holder has shouldered much of West Indies’ lower-order batting in ODIs. Since the 2015 World Cup, Holder has walked into bat inside the 25-over mark 19 times when he has batted at No. 7 or lower. He has made 564 runs at an average of 35.25, including six half-centuries, in these games. He has struck these runs at 88. Does this merit a promotion? You’d think yes,” noted Shashank Kishore, espncricinfo.com writer.
Holder led the way showing grit and determination with a well-made 57 to pass 2,000 ODI runs (2,011) and become the fifth West Indies player to reach that mark along with 100 wickets in this format. Holder has 141 ODI wickets but could not add to that tally.
In the post-match interview, captain Pollard lamented the inability of his team to bat out the 50 overs and noted that they’d have to go back to the drawing board and come back better.
“Of course, losing with 22 overs to spare is not ideal. Not being able to bat 50 overs – we’ve got to take stock of that. We got to dig deeper and get better with techniques, again myself included. Having said that, not the result we wanted, but credit to the guys for turning up. It has been a difficult last three days. It was pretty wet, and the ball was sliding on [later in the evening]. When we batted, it held up and spun. We have to find a way. The lower-order batting from Jason and Fabian. Joseph and Akeal Hosein did the work for us with the ball – those were the positives. We will come back and see what happens,” Pollard said.
Meanwhile, team India’s captain Rohit Sharma is basking in winning the ODI opener and has set his goal towards a winning trend.
“The end goal is we should be able to achieve what the team wants – whether we want to bat or bowl differently. Honestly, I don’t think we need to change a whole lot. All I will ask of the players is to challenge yourself and be innovative. I’ve been off for a while and didn’t play for two months. I was back home, though, and hitting balls. It’s about finding rhythm as a batter and I was confident going into this game,” said the captain.
Edited by Jesus Chan
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