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India vs Windies, 2nd T20I – Who Said What

Windies slumped with the bat for the umpteenth time on this tour.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India have stamped their authority in the T20I series as well. They won the second game of the three-match comfortably by 72 runs as the Windies never arrived at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium. Rohit Sharma was the hero of the day as he slammed the record fourth T20I to remain unbeaten on 111 off just 61 deliveries with eight fours and seven massive maximums on a big ground.

After losing the toss, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit played out the threatening bowler Oshane Thomas in the first couple of overs. They gauged the behaviour of the pitch first and then started opening the hands. The latter was expecially on fire today as he just played his strokes nonchalantly to leave the packed stadium awestruck. Windies bowlers were completely out of ideas as they kept on dishing poor deliveries even as the batsmen got hold of the long boundaries.

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The opening duo added 123 runs for the team and then KL Rahul also batted superbly to add 26 off just 14 balls as India looked set for a huge total despite a slow start. Rohit reached his scintillating century off just 58 balls while Dhawan made 43 runs as India posted 195 runs for the loss of two wickets.

Hapless visitors

The chase wasn’t planned well at all by the Windies. Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer, their heroes of the tour were dismissed cheaply and it seemed they were resigned to their fate from the word go. Having said that, one can’t take anything away from the Indian bowlers who were absolutely clinical on the day.

Khaleel Ahmed once again showed his class with the new ball and is improving immensely with more games he’s playing. Even Bhuvneshwat Kumar looked fitter in this game after missing the series opener while Jasprit Bumrah was spot on as usual with his variations. Krunal Pandya, despite going wicketless, was exceptional and Kuldeep Yadav scalped a couple of wickets which was never a surprise as Windies were able to muster only 124 runs for the loss of nine wickets losing the game by 72 runs.

Man of the Match and India captain, Rohit Sharma said:

Like I said at the toss, not many games have been played here. We wanted to get used to the pitch, how the wicket is behaving, hence we took our time. It’s important to understand what the pitch is doing. Whenever you get an opportunity you do your best.

Today was a perfect platform. Everyone who came to watch the game will go home with a smile. This is what we play for, to see that smile on everyone’s face. Glad that we won this game and this series as well.

Shikhar’s natural instinct is to put pressure on the bowlers. He wanted to take his time after getting out cheaply in the last few games. We took time initially and when Shikhar gets going it’s not easy. I think 120-plus partnership between us was very crucial and then KL Rahul finished off really well.

Bumrah has been one of the premier bowlers for us. We use him differently in T20Is as compared to ODIs. Khaleel is a different bowler with the new ball as it gives him more confidence. He looks to swing the ball and he has taken up that challenge well. It’s only helping the team when someone like Khaleel bowls in such a manner and take wickets up front.

Wonderful stadium. One of the best stadiums we’ve played at, the way the crowd supported, hope to get the same support in future. I hope we get many more games here and we continue to entertain them.

Windies captain, Carlos Brathwaite said:

We fielded well in the last game, but today we didn’t field that well. It was always going to be an uphill task to chase such a total. This is hard to digest but we need to take the positives before we play the final game.

They batted well without losing a wicket in the initial overs. We wanted to restrict them to 170-180 but that didn’t happen. Our batting continues to let us down.

We got a young group of guys so we need to appreciate the positives, the small good things we did. We are still trying to find our best opening combination. We never got off to a good start in the first two games.

It’s difficult to choose the perfect batting pair but we’re trying. We need to make the best decisions, we think. It didn’t work batting wise in these two games. Hopefully in the third game we’ll put up a better performance and come up with a win.

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