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PHOTOS: India crush Windies in opening T20I

Source: PTI
Last updated on: July 30, 2022 03:48 IST
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Images from the first T20 International between India and the West Indies, at the Brian Lara stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad, on Friday.

Ravi Bishnoi spun a web around the Windies batters and finished with figures of 2 for 26

IMAGE: Ravi Bishnoi spun a web around the West Indies batters and finished with figures of 2 for 26. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

Rohit Sharma's elegant half-century and Dinesh Karthik's blazing finish were backed up by a solid bowling performance as India made short work of the West Indies with an easy 68-run victory in the first T20I on Friday.

 

While Rohit set up the platform with a 44-ball-64, it was Karthik's calculated assault -- an unbeaten 41 off 19 balls -- that took India to 190 for 6 after being put in to bat.

The last three overs of the Indian innings, which yielded 45 runs, turned the innings on its head.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck early with the wicket of Shamarh Brooks

IMAGE: Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck early with the wicket of Shamarh Brooks. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

On a track that had spongy bounce, with a bit of turn and grip, India's spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (2/22 in 4 overs), Ravindra Jadeja (1/26 in 4 overs) and Ravi Bishnoi (2/26 in 4 overs) got wickets at regular intervals to restrict the hosts to 122 for 8 in 20 overs.

Arshdeep Singh (2/24 in 4 overs) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/11 in 2 overs), despite receiving some initial pasting, got their share of breakthroughs. Hence, a below-par show by the top-order, save Rohit, did not have telling consequences on India.

Ravichandran Ashwin also chipped in with a couple of wickets

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin also chipped in with a couple of wickets. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

For coach Rahul Dravid, almost all the strategic changes in the playing eleven seemed have to worked.

Suryakumar Yadav (24 off 16 balls) provided an interesting option as an opener while the manner in which Arshdeep deceived a rampaging Kyle Mayers with a short delivery spoke volumes about his temperament.

Ashwin and Bishnoi, both non-regulars in the playing eleven, were brilliant; the former showed his variations and the latter was happy bowling a bunch of googlies which the opposition batters failed to read on most occasions.

IMAGE: Captain Rohit Sharma provided glimpses of his vintage self while scoring a half-century. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

Rohit was in his element while Karthik provided the final flourish as India put up a competitive 190 6.

India's captain, who endured a barren spell in the shortest format since the IPL, has changed his game since the England T20s; he provided glimpses of his vintage self with some breathtaking shots on way to a sparkling 64 off 44 balls.

Karthik, the team's designated finisher, justified his billing with a blazing, unbeaten 19-ball 41 cameo, as 52 runs came off the last four overs in a seventh-wicket stand with Ravichandran Ashwin (13 not out).

On a track where there was slow, spongy bounce, most of the top-order batters were dismissed playing poor shots, even as the skipper carried on at the other end for his 27th half-century in the shortest format.

In the process, he reclaimed his position as the highest run-getter (3443 runs) in T20Is from Martin Guptill (3399 runs).

His innings had seven fours and two sixes -- a lofted shot dancing down the track off Jason Holder and a short-arm pull off Alazarri Joseph.

IMAGE: Alzarri Joseph celebrates after taking the wicket of Hardik Pandya. Photograph: Windies Cricket/Twitter

There were some delectable boundaries too -- a back-cut, a cover drive and a deliberate glide over short third-man to enthral a sizeable Indian crowd present at the Brian Lara Stadium.

Suryakumar Yadav's elevation at the top of the order showed that coach Dravid is still looking at other options as Rohit's opening partner, despite Rishabh Pant looking comfortable as an opener.

To be fair, Surya didn't do all that badly and he showed intent during his 16-ball 24, which included a breathtaking six -- a swivel of hips to send a rising delivery behind the square -- besides three boundaries.

But, while trying to whip left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein through mid-wicket, all Surya managed was a thick outside edge to short third-man.

A lot of credit should go to Hosein, who was brought well inside the powerplay and did a brilliant job with figures of 1 for 14, including 14 dot balls.

It was Hosein who prevented Rohit from teeing off during that phase, while Shreyas Iyer (0), Pant (14 off 12 balls) and Pandya (1) didn't  get too many at the other end.

It was left to Karthik, the eternal "20-ball man", who smashed four fours and two sixes in a 360-degree display of shot-making.

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