India innovated with their batting order, with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli not coming out to bat in their regular positions
West Indies’ woes in the 50-over format continued as India won the first One-Day International (ODI) in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Thursday (July 27). Kuldeep Yadav took four wickets and Ravindra Jadeja three as the West Indies collapsed, with the hosts losing their last seven wickets for the addition of only 26 runs to be bowled out for 114 in 23 overs. In the chase, India innovated with their batting order, with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli not coming out to bat in their regular positions, allowing the others up the order to bat. They lost half their side in the process on a field that aided spinners, but Ishan Kishan’s 46-ball 52 led India to victory with 27.1 overs to spare.
Kishan got off to a good start with a boundary in the first over thanks to a solid pull shot from Dominic Drakes. Shubman Gill’s first run came off a top edge, which resulted in a four off Jayden Seales. When Gill got an outside edge off Seales and Brandon King took a low catch at second slip, the openers were developing a solid combination. Marais Erasmus, the third umpire, referred to numerous angles before pronouncing the hitter out. Suryakumar Yadav batted at No. 3 and edged Drakes for four to register his maiden runs following a hat-trick of ducks in his previous three ODIs. Kishan was quick to gauge the distances, hitting a straight four off a big delivery from Drakes and also pulling a short ball away.
Suryakumar, who scored his second four with a cover drive off Seales, also hit his favorite pick-up lap shot for a six over fine-leg. As India reached 50 in 10 overs, the pair scored steadily, combining boundary drives with singles. Suryakumar scored a boundary off Gudakesh Motie, but the spinner responded by delivering it much slower, getting the batter out leg-before, and India also lost a review. Meanwhile, Kishan was hitting smashes all over the place, including a one-handed ball over midfield and a cutoff to Yannic Cariah for two boundaries. Hardik Pandya was also promoted to the top order, although he only lasted a few innings before being run out at the non-striker’s end after a drive from Kishan rebounded off Cariah’s gloves and onto the stumps.
Kishan then took a full toss from Cariah and hit a booming shot past Motie for another four points. He also got a good break when Kyle Mayers dropped him off Motie when he tried to pull, and he followed that up with a 44-ball fifty. But Kishan fell trying to play a heave off Motie, and Shardul Thakur followed shortly after, leaving Rohit at the crease. The captain, together with Jadeja, helped their team reach the finish line unscathed, giving India a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Earlier, with the surface providing extra bounce, Pandya and debutant Mukesh Kumar worried West Indies openers with deliveries that went off from a length after skipper Rohit chose to bowl. Mayers tried to increase the pace, but the bounce got the better of him, and he gave Rohit Sharma a straightforward catch at mid-on, giving Pandya the first wicket. Alick Athanaze and Brandon King had a solid combo, with both batters scoring a couple home runs. Athanaze’s first stroke of authority was a six off Pandya, and he added three more fours before hitting a short and wide ball from Mukesh to Jadeja, who timed his jump beautifully at the backward point. Soon after, King was bowled by Thakur, and the West Indies dropped to 45/3.
Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer, who had returned to the West Indies XI after a lengthy absence, attempted to rebuild as their stand passed 40. Hope hit two fours off Umran Malik’s short balls, while Hetmyer hit his first four off a Jadeja delivery to fine leg. But Jadeja, who was a little erratic at first, hit his stride and put the West Indies in even more difficulty. Hetmyer’s innings ended after he was bowled due to an attempted paddle stroke. Jadeja owed his next two wickets to Gill and Virat Kohli, who held onto brilliant catches off edges to first and second slip, resulting in Rovman Powell and Romario Shepherd falling in the same over.
The West Indies’ slide was accelerated when Kuldeep struck twice in rapid succession. The Chinese bowler trapped Drakes in front with a googly and then nabbed Cariah with a wrong’un, with India successfully utilizing the DRS. Hope, on the other hand, stood helpless as the West Indies utterly lost their way. The West Indies captain attempted to farm a strike with the tail batting alongside him, even hitting a six off Jadeja to break into the 40s. But an attempted reverse sweep cost him his wicket, giving Kuldeep his third. He got his fourth wicket in three overs when Seales dropped a catch at leg slip, bringing the curtain down on a poor batting showing by the West Indies, who were bowled out for their second-lowest score against India.
West Indies, 114 in 23 overs (Shai Hope 43; Kuldeep Yadav 4-6; Ravindra Jadeja 3-37), lost by 5 wickets to India, 118/5 in 22.5 overs (Ishan Kishan 52; Gudakesh Motie 2-26).
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