Virat Kohli lost his first toss of the tour, but it didn’t stop India’s winning run in the Caribbean as they comfortably beat the West Indies by six wickets in Trinidad on Wednesday. It was another masterclass with the bat from Kohli and Shreyas Iyer as the visitors chased down the revised DLS target of 255 with more than two overs to spare.
Here are our talking points from the game.
The West Indies sorely missed Sheldon Cottrell
Not only has Cottrell been the West Indies’ best bowler in this series, he also made Shikhar Dhawan his bunny of sorts. In Cottrell’s absence, Dhawan made a quickfire 36 that ensured India had a good start to a tricky chase. Without Cottrell, Jason Holder didn’t really have a strike bowler to turn to when he needed wickets or wanted to stem the flow of runs, which made this an easy chase for India.
Another batting masterclass from Kohli and Iyer
They were instrumental in India’s victory at the same venue a couple of days ago, and Kohli and Iyer again came to the party here in Trinidad.
The duo came together with India in a slight spot of bother at 92/3, having lost Dhawan and Rishabh Pant in successive deliveries, but brought the chase back on track with a fine 120 run stand in 15 and a half odd overs.
Iyer hit five sixes in his 41 ball 65 while Kohli struck his second consecutive century as India cruised home in the 33rd over.
Shai Hope’s slow start with the bat hurts the West Indies
We had mentioned this several times in the World Cup as well- Shai Hope tends to start too slowly for the modern game. He made 24 today off 52 balls- effectively eating up a quarter of the Windies’ overs for one tenth the score. He’s a talented player, but if he’s going to start so slowly, he needs to make them count.
Hope drops Kohli catch
Not only did Hope rob the Windies innings of momentum in the middle phase, he also dropped a relatively straightforward catch off Virat Kohli when the latter was just on 11. Kohli doesn’t give too many chances, especially in a chase, and the Windies were left to rue what could’ve been as the Indian skipper made them pay for the drop.
Was this Chris Gayle’s final ODI?
He didn’t mention it, but all signs seemed to point that this might be the Universe Boss’ final game in this format. He wore a special 301 jersey instead of his usual 45 and hugged all the Indian players after being dismissed.
If this was a farewell of sorts, Gayle gave the crowd plenty to cheer for. He took the Windies from 29/0 in 5 overs to 114 in the 10th over and hit eight fours and five sixes in his 43 ball 71. Again a reminder of how devastating the Universe Boss can be when in full flow!