Kohli, Sharma steer India to a clinical victory over WI
Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Vishakapatnam: Rohit Sharma was at the non-striker’s end when Ravinder Jadeja pulled a short one from Andre Russell for four runs which was the winning hit. Rohit looked calm and that serenity might be about completing the job. At Cuttack, he had set up the job but had to watch agonisingly from the sidelines how his teammates were making a mess of it.
At the Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Friday there was no such mess or any drama as the young guns -- Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma charted victory for India in the most professional of all manners by 5 wickets against West indies to take a 2-0 lead in the five match series . Rohit remained unbeaten on 90 off 98 as Virat compiled a matured 117 off 123 before getting out.
If the West Indies innings actually began after the 34th over, the duo of Rohit and Virat ensured that game was in their hands by the 34th over. It was a methodical approach by both the batsmen after the shaky start. Windies have been able to pull things out of thin air and on Friday literally with the wicket of Gautam Gambhir they did that when Adrian Barath plucked out a brilliant catch. Sehwag looked frustrated with the dismissal and the captain was a ticking time bomb all along his stay in the middle. He tried letting himself loose but was holed out at long-off. The scorecard then read 84 for 3 in the 17th over.
The next Windies celebration came when India were 247 in the 44th over. The match was effectively over by that time. Kohli and Sharma had put on 163 runs partnership in 28. 3 overs with a run-rate of 5.71. If it was a chanceless innings by Kohli, flawless would be the word for Rohit’s innings. If Kohli dealt with aggression Rohit had elegance to answer with.
Sammy again was lacking in his strategies giving an open field for the two quickest runners in the Indian team and with the kind of class both the players possess every loose delivery was bound to reach the fence. As has been the case, the likes of Roach and Rampaul came out all guns blazing and rattled the Indian line-up early on but the dibbly-dobblies of Sammy, Pollard and Simmons were just to easy for the Indians to deal with.
It was a clinical chase with India being the far more superior side both in terms of gameplay, skills and temperament. Inclusion of a certain Anthony Martin might have posed some danger for the hosts but he had to sit out.
West Indies innings
From 131/7 in 27 overs to 269/9 in 50, West Indies lower order produced a stellar performance something the top order should be ashamed of barring Lendl Simmons. More than putting up a competitive total on board, Windies snatched a certain momentum from India.
Ravi Rampaul’s spectacular innings of 86 off just 66 balls would have done the pacer a world of good. If Lendl Simmons innings of 78 (102) was a valiant one amidst the ruins, Rampaul’s innings was outrightly arrogant after the ruins.
He, along with Kemar Roach put up a partnership off 99 runs in just 14 overs. The top five combined failed to forge a partnership even half of what No.10 and No.11 mustered. En route to his rampaging innings, Ravi also broke the record for the highest individual score at No.10. He may not again bat at No.10 and it would be fair to say that Darren Sammy should leave his No. 8 position for Ravi Rampaul.
For the Indians, the WI innings was like a movie in two halves. The first half was enjoyed by the pace trio as the speedsters bowled 20 overs of seam first up, a certain rarity for India in Indian conditions. Even spinners joined the party with some quick wickets and within the 35th over nine Windies wicket were down. After the 35th, it was the rampaging Rampaul show.
Umesh Yadav eventually ended up with the best figures 10-0-38-3 with an economy of 3.80. Ravindra Jadeja also bowled well picking up two wickets with an economy of over 4. Varun Aaron bowled well early on but the pressure of bowling in slog overs got the better of him as he finished with an economy of over 6.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the one who bore the maximum brunt as the offie was clobbered for 7 sixes by the West Indies batsmen. Rampaul took a special liking to Ashiwn with four individual sixes.
Virender Sehwag after the Cuttack ODI had stressed on the point of not being complacent and that is exactly what the Indian did in the field once the top order was removed. Sehwag was attacking from the first ball but he failed to sustain that attacking mentality falling prey to complacency. His field setting were spot on earlier but he seldom worked on the field changes when roach and Rampaul were trying to make a match out the dismal situation.