A strong bowling effort supported Rohit Sharma’s graceful half-century and Dinesh Karthik’s explosive finish as India easily defeated West Indies by 68 runs in the opening T20I on Friday at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad.
Nearly all of the tactical alterations made to the starting XI by coach Rahul Dravid appeared to be successful. The Indian squad used three spinners as opposed to the hosts’ one spinner, and the new opening combination seemed to work.
After winning the toss, West Indies chose to bowl first. India had a completely new opening duo as Suryakumar Yadav walked alongside the Indian captain for the umpteenth time this year.
Karthik’s methodical attack, an unbeaten 41 off 19 balls, helped India reach 190 for six after Rohit had laid the groundwork with a 44-ball-64. Dinesh Karthik yet again shown his finishing skills during the three consecutive innings of the Indian innings, which resulted in 45 runs and proved to be the game-changing factor.
Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (2/22 in 4 overs), Ravindra Jadeja (1/26 in 4 overs), and Ravi Bishnoi (2/26 in 4 overs) took wickets at regular intervals to keep the hosts to 122 for 8 in 20 overs on a surface with spongy bounce and some turn and grip.
Despite some early failures, Arshdeep Singh (2/24 in 4 overs) & Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/11 in 2 overs) both made significant breakthroughs. A poor performance by the top order, with the exception of Rohit, therefore had little impact on India.
An intriguing alternative for the opener was Suryakumar Yadav (24 off 16 balls), while Arshdeep’s deception of a charging Kyle Mayers with a short delivery revealed much about his character.
The two different in the playing XI, Ashwin & Bishnoi, both shone as the former displayed his variations while the latter was content to deliver a number of googlies that the opposing batsmen often failed to read.
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