Rohit Sharma’s tenure as India ODI captain started with a 3-0 demolition of the West Indies after the impressive hosts put in an all-round performance to win the third game by 96 runs on Friday. Shreyas Iyer’s responsible 80 coupled with Rishabh Pant’s aggressive 56 propelled India to a challenging 265 in the unimportant match. The hosts then shot out their opponents for 169 in 37.1 overs as the visitors continued their dismal batting show. With one eye on the 2023 ODI World Cup, the Indian team management took many positives from their experiments in the third competition series, including the emergence of pacer Prasidh Krishna as the strike bowler. He finished with nine wickets in the series.
Deepak Chahar, who didn’t play the third ODI, showed promise as a mid-range batter, while Suryakumar Yadav showed that he could control his natural aggressive intentions when such a situation arises.
The wrist spinners Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav, who returned as a couple, did not come together, but did well individually.
A regular batting performance by the West Indian batters also made the task of the Indian bowlers easier throughout the series.
The away team was never in the chase and was blown away by another great show of fast bowling.
Pacer Deepak Chahar, who played his first game of the series, struck twice in the fifth over. First he sent off Brandon King (14), who advanced to Suryakumar Yadav in the slip cordon and then on the last ball from the over, cleared Shamarh Brooks (0), leaving the visitors at 25/3. The West Indies could not recover after that.
The ODI series will be followed by three T20s in Kolkata from February 16.
Previously, Shreyas and the flamboyant Pant brought the Indian innings to life with their 110-run after India suffered a first-class collapse to 42/3.
The duo played with the opposition’s attack even as the left leg showed his hard-hitting prowess hitting six fours and a six.
The Mumbaikar, who played his first game after COVID recovery, looked in his elements, mixing caution and aggression. He completed his ninth ODI fifty with single to deep extra coverage.
After turning 50, Shreyas upped the ante as he and Pant completed their 100-run tie in 112 balls.
Pant also scored his fifth ODI 50 with a single. But in the 30th over he perished giving leggie Hayden Walsh (2/59) his first wicket and Suryakumar Yadav (6) followed as India lost half their side for 164.
But a determined Shreyas played his shots at will before handing a nanny to Darren Bravo in the 38th over. In his 111-ball knockout, he hit nine boundaries.
However, Chahar (38; 4×4; 2×6) and Washington Sundar (33, 2×4; 1×6) played their part to perfection, forging 53 runs for the seventh wicket. Their punches propelled India past the 260 run.
After opting to bat, India lost out on cheap opener Rohit Sharma (13). Pacer Alzarri Joseph (2/54) set the hosts back, first clearing Rohit on the third ball from the fourth over and then sending Virat Kohli (0) away on the fifth ball to balance the hosts on 16/ 2.
Kohli tried to catch a throw that had been misdirected, but slid to Shai Hope in what was a soft dismissal, lengthening the wait for his 71st hundred in international cricket.
Shikhar Dhawan (10) and Shreyas tried to rack up the innings but were able to add just 26 runs for the third wicket.
Dhawan, who also played his first game of the series after recovering from COVD, became the first victim of pacer Odean Smith (1/36) when he was caught in the slip cordon by Jason Holder.
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