Team India on Wednesday defeated the West Indies by 44 runs in the 2nd ODI in Ahmedabad, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing 3-match series. After Suryakumar Yadav registered his highest ODI score, Prasidh Krishna (4/12) and Shardul Thakur (2/41) shared six wickets among each other to seal a comprehensive win over the Men in Maroon. The win also marked a remarkable beginning of Rohit Sharma’s journey as full-time captain in the ODIs. In pursuit of a 238-run target, openers Shai Hope and Brandon King scored some quick runs, giving the visitors a decent start. They charged with boundaries and looked confident until Prasidh Krishna drew the first blood, breaking the 32-run partnership in the eighth over.
King, who had already smashed a couple of boundaries and a maximum, nicked a delivery from Krishna and was caught by Rishabh Pant. The right-arm quick struck again in his next over to dent the WI batting line-up by dismissing Darren Bravo for 1. A couple of quick dismissals left the tourists reeling at 38 for 2. Hope then teamed up with Shamarh Brooks to steer the innings but wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal burst into the scene and ended the brewing partnership. In the 17th over, the WI opener tried clearing the fence of Chahal’s delivery but eventually holed it out to Suryakumar Yadav.
Meanwhile, Brooks took the onus to rebuild the innings but lacked support from the other end. Stand-in skipper Nicholas Pooran (9) fell prey to Krishna while all-rounder Jason Holder (2) lost his wicket to Shardul Thakur. Spinner Akeal Hosein combined with Brooks to frustrated the Indian bowlers for a while. The pair added 41 runs for the sixth wicket, putting its best foot forward in shifting the momentum. But then Rohit Sharma decided to utilize his sixth bowling option Deepak Hooda. The 27-year-old all-rounder came into the attack with his off-break and picked up his maiden international wicket by dismissing set batsman Brooks for 44.
The West Indian tail produced fireworks towards the end but that wasn’t enough to take the game home. Odean Smith fired 2 sixes and a boundary, trying to take the game closer but Washington Sundar ended his innings in the 45th over with Virat Kohli taking a phenomenal catch. Krishna hit the last nail in the coffin by trapping Kemar Roach in front to complete a four-wicket haul. Earlier, Alzarri Joseph and Odean Smith helped West Indies restrict India to 237/9, despite a gritty fifty by Suryakumar Yadav. “I have been asked to try different things, so that was something different (on Pant opening).
We wanted to try it one game and is not a permanent thing. Shikhar should be back for the next game. We don’t mind losing a few games while trying out a few things. Because it is important to look at the long-term goals. We will see what works out well for the team combination (for the final ODI).” He also praised Prasidh Krishna for his superb spell where he picked up four wickets. It was his superb bowling that pushed Windies onto the back-foot. “I was a little surprised to see no dew. I have never seen a spell-like that in India for a long time now. Bowled with a lot of paces and kept it going.
The others complimented him. When you have five bowlers and Deepak being sixth, you always need to keep rotating the bowlers,” he signed off. Apart from Suryakumar, KL Rahul (49), Deepak Hooda (29), Washington Sundar (24) also played some vital knocks but West Indies struck back with wickets at regular intervals to keep India under a below-par target. Rahul struck four fours and two sixes in his 48-ball knock. But just when it looked that they would score big, Rahul was run out in the 30th over. Surya then found an able ally in Washington Sundar (24), as the duo added 43 runs for the fifth wicket.