Coming back from behind is an arduous task for any team. Forgetting the previous match setback at the earliest and then bouncing back like a wounded tiger is the sign of a true professional, now team India has made this a habit. Of late, despite losing T20I matches to South Africa, Bangladesh and West Indies, Kohli and his troops returned strongly to win this match. Skipper Virat Kohli has made a routine work to handle any stiff challenge with simplicity.
Stepped out to win
Team India stepped out of the Dr YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam intending to win the match and aiming to keep the three-match series alive. Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul had provided a perfect platform for the mammoth total. Both the hard-hitting batsmen blazed the Carribean attack in the run feast. Later, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant also washed their hands in the run riot at Vizag.
Positive body language
The body language of Indian players was looking positive since the beginning of the match. The duo of Rohit and Rahul never allowed the bowlers of the visiting team to settle down. They capitalised the wayward bowling and shabby fielding of the Carribean and contributed 227 runs for the opening partnership. Virat Kohli’s rare first ball duck is just like the disappearance of a significant character in a film for a long time.
“I think we should be brave and show it in our body language and look them in the eye and take them on,” Indian skipper Virat Kohli said on facing challenges after losing the toss in the crucial second one-dater against the West Indies at the Dr YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium on Wednesday.
Openers set platform
Indian openers helped the team to score a sizeable total of 387 runs, which was a daunting task for any team to chase. Indian bowlers started well and kept the Carribean batsmen on their toes and never allowed them to free their arms. All the bowlers performed on the perfect channel on placid Vizag wicket to trouble the Carribean batsmen.
Decent start but faltered in the middle
The visitors had a decent start, but inconsistency in their batting let the team down. West Indies lost three quick wickets during their chase that halted their progress. Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran added a 106-run partnership for the fourth wicket; they were not only rotating the strike judiciously instead hitting big shots frequently as well. But speedster Mohammad Shami’s double strike in the 30th over broke the momentum of the visitors’ mammoth chase.
Kuldeep mesmerised visitors
The man of the moment in this match was chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav; he became the first Indian to take two hat tricks in One Day Internationals. He hit the final nail in the coffin with a hat-trick in the 33rd over and turned the pendulum of the match in India’s favour. He mesmerised the visitors as India overpowered West Indies by 107 runs and leveled the series 1-1. The decider of the series at the Barabati Stadium would be a do or die contest for both the teams.
India’s 387 for five was a record total on this ground surpassing the previous record 356 for nine scored by India against Pakistan in 2005. Rohit and Rahul double-century stand was India’s sixth double-century partnership. Only Sri Lanka has more such partnerships.
Rohit declared man of the match
Rohit Sharma was adjudged the man of the match for his heroic 159 runs. After the match, the hard-hitting Indian opener said, “It was a much-needed victory for us. We wanted to get our act together. We had a very very crucial partnership. KL batted brilliantly and allowed me to take my time. KL is such a talent when you watch it from the opposite end”.
Kuldeep creates history
Kuldeep Yadav was well satisfied with his performance after the match; he said “It has been a perfect day for me, taking a second hat-trick in ODIs. Still can’t find words to describe the feeling. It has been tough for me in the last 4-5 months. I have worked hard and been bowling well. It was a very satisfying performance”.
Kohli satisfied with the team’s show
The charismatic Indian captain Virat Kohli was jubilant with the team’s overall performance. He said “I think what has been good in the last three games including the one at Wankhede and first two ODIs, is that we have batted pretty well in the first half. Batting second has never been an issue. We’re one of the top sides, if not the best while chasing”.
The third ODI would be another feast for the crowd at the Barabati Stadium in Odisha. Team India is upbeat to repeat Vizag-like performance in the deciding match and seal the series. But West Indies may prove handy for the men in blue. At the outset, it seems India is a firm favourite to win the series, but it is wrong to rule out the visitors.