Rohit Sharma’s return brought laurels to India as the men in blue kickstarted the T20I series with a comprehensive 68-run win on Friday. The captain scored his first fifty of this year which was followed by a rollicking cameo from Dinesh Karthik, who has evolved as a great finisher in the shortest format.
Riding on their super knocks, India set a challenging target of 191 runs for the host. Eventually, India’s 190/6 is the highest T20 score at the Brian Lara cricket stadium that was hosting the first-ever international fixture.
In reply, the West Indies went off to a flying start. Openers Shamarh Brooks and Kyle Mayers together belted 22 runs in 8 balls before the pair war dented by Arshdeep Singh. Once India got the breakthrough, the hosts’ batting line-up started to scatter and were finally restricted to 122/8.
CWG 2022 – FULL COVERAGE | IN-DEPTH | INDIA FOCUS | OFF THE FIELD | IN PHOTOS
As India take a 1-0 lead in the series, let’s have a look at the talking points of the game:
Refreshing return of Rohit Sharma: The break from ODIs was very much needed as the Hitman returned with a bang on Friday. Rohit was back to lead the side and began the five-match series with a scintillating half-century. Surprisingly, it was his first half-century this year. The wicket kept on tumbling at the other end, but Rohit was determined and played a captain’s knock. With the help of 7 boundaries and 2 sixes, the Indian skipper top-scored with a 44-ball 64 before losing his wicket to Jason Holder in the 15th over.
DK – The Finisher: Dinesh Karthik once again justified his place in the team with a superb 41-run unbeaten knock, helping India post 190 in 20 overs. At one point it seemed that India might put something in the line of 145-150. But Dinesh Karthik had different plans. As usual, he unleashed his attack in the death overs. He smoked a couple of boundaries and a six in the final over of the Indian innings, scoring 14 runs off just 4 balls. With the help of four boundaries and 2 sixes, Karthik scored 41 off just 19 deliveries.
Spinners did wonder: India played three quality spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Bishnoi and in return, the trio shared 5 wickets among each other. After a flying start, the Windies’ batting collapsed like a house of cards and these three bowlers did the majority of the damage. Ashwin registered figures of 2/22, getting rid of captain Nicholas Pooran (18) and Shimron Hetmyer (14). Bishnoi (2/13) dismissed Rovman Powell (14) and Odean Smith (0) while Jadeja (1/24) took down Jason Holder for a duck.
Arshdeep makes his presence felt: The social media was buzzing with reactions when netizens came to know that Arshdeep is in the playing XI. He might have missed out on an ODI debut cap, but he returned in the first T20Is promisingly. He received a bit of a harsh welcome from Kyle Mayers, getting hit for a six off the first ball followed by a boundary. But he was quick enough to give it back by taking down the Windies opener. In his second spell, he knocked over Akeal Hossein with a picture-perfect yorker and left the viewers in his awe. Arshdeep returned figures of 2 for 24 in 4 overs. So far, he has 4 wickets to his credits from 2 games.
Shreyas Iyer’s another failure: Iyer had an underwhelming start in the T20I series as he bagged a 4-ball duck on Friday at the Brian Lara stadium. The right-hand batter hasn’t been at his best form for quite a long now. It’s been more than 5 months since he got a half-century. He scored an unbeaten 73 against Sri Lanka in Dharamshala. In the last four innings, he has got a double-digit score just once. The Mumbai batter must get back among runs before missing the flight to Australia for the much-awaited T20 World Cup.
Get all the latest Cricket News, Schedule and Cricket Live Scores here