India cruised to a six-wicket victory against West Indies in the opening ODI of the three-match series at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday, in their 1000th ODI.
In Ahmedabad, India, in the midst of a new era under new captain Rohit Sharma, cruised to a comfortable victory to take a 1-0 lead in the series. After deciding to bowl first, the spinners put on a fantastic performance, dismissing the visiting West Indies for a meagre 176.
As the hosts brought down the total with 22 overs to spare, Rohit Sharma, who had been out of action for a few months owing to injury, shone with the bat. Rohit Sharma top-scored with his 44th ODI half-century off 42 balls.
After hitting 10 fours and a six, the opener was forced to leave after making 60 from 51 balls. Virat Kohli, India’s former captain, went to the middle of the field as if he wanted to make a point. Kohli opened his bat with back-to-back boundaries and was hungry for more.
However, as Kohli pulled, Joseph smacked a short ball that was caught at fine-leg by Kemar Roach. With India’s score at 93/2 at the end of the 14th over, the West Indies pacer removed India’s two most senior hitters in the space of six balls. With Kohli out of the picture, Kishan tried to speed up by sweeping a ball from Akeal Hosein, but Fabian Allen caught him at deep backward square-leg.
Rishabh Pant backed himself into a corner and had his innings cut short. With India’s score at 116/4 and the aim still, 61 runs away, the team was nervous. However, on his ODI debut, Deepak Hooda pulled up a crucial 62-run stand with Suryakumar, and the pair drove India to victory. When the winning runs were made, Hooda was not out on 26 and Suryakumar was unbeaten on 34.
Earlier in the day, Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bowl first as India’s new full-time ODI captain.
On the pitch, bowling early paid off as bowler Mohammad Siraj clean bowled Shai Hope in the third over of the West Indies innings. West Indies’ progress was delayed by a poor start. As all-rounder Washington Sundar took the eighth over of the West Indies innings, Rohit injected spin into the attack.
Sundar showed a quick turn in his opening over, beating the outside edge of Dwayne Bravo’s bat three times. Sundar dismissed Bravo and Brandon King in the eleventh over, highlighting the West Indies’ weaknesses against spin. Yuzvendra Chahal’s leg-spin then took centre stage.
Yuzvendra Chahal, the spinner, returned to form, not only with a string of wickets behind his name but also by bowling in the manner for which he is well-known. Chahal, who came into the attack in the 20th over, bowled West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran (18) and captain Kieron Pollard (0) in his first over.
Chahal’s efficient lines and lengths made it difficult for West Indian hitters to dictate terms in a disciplined performance of attacking bowling. Chahal was the Indian bowler of the day in Ahmedabad, with stats of 9.5-0-49-4. It is Chahal’s first ODI match award at home and his fourth Man of the Match performance in his 60th ODI.