Team India became the first nation to have played 1000 ODIs in cricket. The Men In Blue celebrated the moment by gifting their fans the first win of 2022. Captain Rohit Sharma opted to field on a pitch with the lush green outfield.
Deepak Hooda made his debut in international cricket. The players entered the field wearing black armbands to mourn the demise of the queen of melody Lata Mangeshkar.
Hooda makes his debut, Sundar picked ahead of Kuldeep
Shai Hope opened the batting with Brandon King. The Windies faced an early blow after Hope was knocked over by Siraj in the 2nd over. The top order got a decent start but none of the Caribbean batters could convert them into big knocks. Spinners Sundar and Chahal were brought into action early on and the duo struck breakthroughs soon after the powerplay.
In the 20th over, Chahal dismissed explosive batter Pooran to reach 100 scalps in ODIs. Windies were strangling at 79-7 and were struggling to rotate the strike to stitch a partnership. Skipper Pollard departed without troubling the scoreboard after missing out on a googly from Chahal.
All-rounder Jason Holder was the sole fighter but could get little help from his teammates. The former captain raised his fifty to give his team some relief amidst the batting collapse. The Indian bowlers bundled the visitors for a paltry score of 176-10 in 43.5 overs.
India go 1-0 up, Windies cornered
It was quite an easy chase for the Indian batters. Rohit Sharma hammered the Caribbean bowlers all across the field. With a strike rate above 1000, Sharma hit a fifty leading the team to a convincing win. In the 14th over, Alzarri Joseph got the prized dismissals of Rohit and Kohli in quick succession.
However, this was never looked enough to defend such a small target on a good batting wicket. Debutant Hooda stayed unbeaten alongside Suryakumar Yadav as India chased the total in 28 overs.
“My job was to sustain that pressure” says POTM
Chahal was awarded the player of the match trophy for his outstanding spell where he bagged 4 wickets for 49 runs. Sharma was pleased with the team’s all-around performance as felt that the players ticked all the boxes.
“I don’t believe in perfect game. You cannot be perfect. We want to keep getting better. All in all a great effort from everyone. We ticked all boxes. Pretty happy with that. With that bat we could’ve finished with not so many wickets, that is one. Could also have created pressure on their lower order. Don’t want to take any credit away. The way we bowled upfront and then towards the back end was good to see. We want to keep getting better as a team. The end goal is we should be able to achieve what the team wants. If the team requires us to do something different, have to do it.
“Don’t want to depend on it a lot” Skipper Rohit speaks on toss
Don’t think we have to change a lot. All I ask from players is to keep challenging themselves. I’ve been off for a while, haven’t played for two months but I was back home hitting the balls. Knew there was a long season ahead. Had a good net session here. I was confident going into this game. Can take a lot of positives from this game. The pitch had something in it. There was softness in the pitch early on. In this particular game the toss became important. But honestly want to take the toss away from the play, don’t want to depend on it a lot. But if you do, you have to take advantage.” Rohit Sharma said at post-match presentation ceremony.
India will play the remaining 2 ODIs in the same venue. The visitors will aim to come back strong as they play for their pride in the next encounter.
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