Rohit Sharma’s stint as India’s ODI captain began with a 3-0 demolition of West Indies as the impressive hosts put on a scintillating 96-run win in the third game here on Friday.
Shreyas Iyer’s responsible 80 combined with Rishabh Pant’s aggressive 56 took India to a challenging 265 in the inevitable fixture.
The hosts then bowled out their opponents for 169 in 37.1 overs as the visitors continued their disappointing performance.
With an eye on the 2023 ODI World Cup, the Indian team management drew a lot of positivity from their experiments in the third match of the series, which also saw the emergence of pacer famed Krishna as the strike bowler. He took nine wickets in the series. Deepak Hooda, who did not play the third ODI, showed promise as a middle-order batsman, while Suryakumar Yadav showed that he could curb his natural aggressive intent if such a situation arises.
Wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who made a comeback as a pair, did not bowl together but did well individually. A simple batting performance by the West Indies batsmen also eased the task of the Indian bowlers throughout the series.
The away team was never in the chase and was blown away by another brilliant display of fast bowling. Fast bowler Deepak Chahar, playing the first match of the series, hit two fours in the fifth over. First he sent back Brandon King (14), who dismissed Suryakumar Yadav in the slip cordon and then dismissed Shamar Brooks (0) off the last ball of the over, leaving the visitors 25/3. West Indies could not recover from there.
The ODI series will be followed by three T20Is in Kolkata starting February 16. Earlier, Shreyas and the flamboyant Pant revived India’s innings with 110 runs after India suffered a collapse of the top-order at 42/3.
The duo toyed with the opposition attack, while the southpaw displayed his hard work, hitting six boundaries and a six. The Mumbaikar, who was playing his first game after the COVID recovery, saw in his elements as he combined caution and aggression. He completed his ninth ODI half-century with a single to deep extra cover.
After his half-century, Shreyas went further as Pant completed his 100 off 112 balls.
Pant also scored his fifth ODI 50 with a single. But in the 30th over, leggie Hayden Walsh (2/59) got his first wicket and Suryakumar Yadav (6) chased him down as India lost half their team for 164 runs.
But a determined Shreyas played his shots in the 38th over before Darren Bravo sitter at long-off. He hit nine fours in his innings of 111 balls.
However, Chahar (38; 4×4; 2×6) and Washington Sundar (33, 2×4; 1×6) did their part and put on 53 runs for the seventh wicket. His knock took India past 260 runs. India lost opener Rohit Sharma (13) cheaply after deciding to bat. Pacer Alzarri Joseph (2/54) clean bowled Rohit on the third ball of the fourth over and put the hosts behind and then dismissed Virat Kohli (0) on the fifth ball to leave the hosts 16/2.
Kohli tried to flick a ball that was going down leg but dismissed Shai Hope, a soft dismissal, extending the wait for his 71st century in international cricket. Shikhar Dhawan (10) and Shreyas tried to advance the innings but could add only 26 runs for the third wicket.
Dhawan, who also played his first game of the series after recovering from COVD, became the first victim of fast bowler Odeon Smith (1/36) as he was caught by Jason Holder in the slip cordon.