Virat Kohli scored a masterful 85, as India ended 2019 on a winning note by clinching the third and the final one day international at Cuttack against the West Indies by 4 wickets on Sunday.
The home side handed Navdeep Saini a debut in place of the injured Deepak Chahar, while the visitors went in with an unchanged XI. Having lost the first two tosses in Chennai and Vizag, Virat Kohli finally won one and not surprisingly, opted to field.
Here are our talking points from yesterday’s fixture.
1. Slow Evin Lewis start costs the Windies
On an wicket that saw more than 630 runs scored, West Indies opener Evin Lewis took 50 balls for his 21. Even his partner Shai Hope, often criticized for starting slowly, had a SR of over 80 as he scored 42 from the same number of deliveries as Lewis.
The 20 odd runs that the Windies missed with the bat from Lewis have given them victory on another day.
2. Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard Blitz in vain
The Windies were 94/2 at the half way mark, but fine knocks from Pooran and skipper Pollard took them to 315/5 at the end of their allotted 50 overs. They scored 221 runs in the second half of the innings, including a whopping 118 off the final 10.
3. Navdeep Saini impresses on debut
Picked in place of the injured Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini impressed on debut in Cuttack. His versatility was shown in the contrasting nature of his two ickets- first a short ball to dismiss the dangerou sShimron Hetymer and then a yorker to rattle the stumps of Roston Chase. All in all, a fine outing for the RCB speedster and we should see more of him in future.
4. Jadeja’s batting saves the day.
India were in a bit of a bother after Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Kedar Jadhav all fell in quick succession in the middle overs. However skipper Kohli found an able ally in Jadeja, and their sixth wicket partnership removed any hopes of the West Indies might have harboured of winning this game.
Jadeja is picked in this XI more for his batting rather than bowling- Yuzvendra Chahal is clearly the superior bowler, and it came in very handy today.
5. No centurion in the game
Despite a game producing 630 runs, there was no century from either side. India had 3 half centurions, while the West Indies had two, but none of the above mentioned five were able to convert their fifties into hundreds.
India’s next assignment will be at home against Sri Lanka in the first week of January 2020.