Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar set up India’s comfortable six-wicket victory over the West Indies for the hosts’ landmark 1,000th one-day international on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma took to the field as India’s new full-time ODI captain and his decision to bowl was vindicated by the two spinners as the hosts bowled out the West Indies for 176 in Ahmedabad.
The skipper’s top-scoring 60 then helped India romp home in just 28 overs on the day they became the first team to pass the 1,000 ODI milestone. They lead the three-match series 1-0.
“I don’t believe in a perfect game. We want to keep getting better as a team and all in all it was a great effort from everyone,” Rohit, who took over as white-ball captain from Virat Kohli, said after the win.
“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. “Rohit said his team took advantage of the toss but wants to take the flip of the coin away from the equation at a venue that witnesses dew in the evening.
The West Indies had slipped to 79-7 before Jason Holder hit 57 to salvage some dignity for the visitors. Leg-spinner Chahal returned figures of 4-49 — including the key wicket of skipper Kieron Pollard for nought — to rattle the West Indies batters.
Pace bowler Mohammed Siraj struck first in the third over to send back Shai Hope as an incoming delivery got the wicketkeeper-batsman’s inside edge on to the stumps. India introduced spin in the eighth over and off-spinner Sundar soon made it count, dispatching Brandon King for 13.
Chahal broke the West Indies’ back with successive strikes but Holder avoided the hat-trick. Holder put on 78 runs with Fabien Allen, who made 29, to offer some resistance against India’s onslaught. He went past 2,000 ODI runs and then raised his 11th half-century in the 50-over format but finally fell to Krishna, who finished with figures of 2-29.
The West Indies batting has regularly faltered recently including in their previous ODI series loss to Ireland last month when they failed to bat out their 50 overs in three matches. “We got to dig deeper and get better with techniques, again myself included,” Pollard said. Rohit came out attacking and dominated returning pace bowler Kemar Roach to smash two fours and one six in the 10th over.
He put on 84 runs with opening partner Ishan Kishan and made his half-century in 42 balls before Alzarri Joseph trapped him lbw, also sending back Kohli in the same over.