India skipper Virat Kohli after the Men in Blue crushed West Indies by eight wickets in the first One-Day International at Guwahati.
After skipping the Asia Cup to take some much-needed rest, Virat Kohli hit the ground running in the Blue jersey, scoring a stunning century to fire India to a thumping win. Despite chasing a target of 323, Kohli and Co. rarely looked in trouble throughout.
The Men in Blue were off to a poor start, losing in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan for just 4. However, that was not a precursor of the things that were to follow. Kohli looked in red-hot form right from the time he came to bat and had a perfect second-fiddle in the form of Rohit Sharma.
While Rohit looked cautious early on, Kohli batted in top gear right from the start. India crossed the 50-run mark in just the 8th over while Kohli reached his fifty off just 36 balls.
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 21, 2018
Rohit, on the other hand, reached his fifty off 51 balls. The right-hander shifted gears after surpassing the fifty run-mark while Kohli continued to bat in the same manner. Consequently, he reached his century off 88 balls. Rohit joined the century club too.
West Indies finally managed a breakthrough when Devendra Bishoo dismissed Kohli for 140 to end the mammoth 246-run stand.
Rohit, who remained unbeaten on 152, and Ambati Rayudu then took the team home in the 43rd over.
West Indies were not expected to give India much of a challenge and in the end they did very little to prove their detractors wrong. However, they managed to put up a decent show with the bat. Kieran Powell provided the team with a good start by scoring a 36-ball fifty before Shimron Hetmyer scored a century to guide the team to a good total. The left-hander faced little trouble against the pacers as well as the spinners.
He shared fifty-plus stands with Rovman Powell and Jason Holder to steady the ship. It took Hetmyer only 41 balls to reach his fifty and 33 more balls to reach his 3rd century in 13 games. He eventually fell for 106 off just 78 balls. The knock contained 6 fours and as many sixes. Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach then took the side past the 300-run mark with a 43-run stand. But the score turned out to be too less in the end as India chased it down with ease.
Speaking after the game, Kohli, who was also adjudged the Man of the Match, expressed his delight over the convincing win.
“Feels pretty good. Very convincing for us. Windies put up a really good total. 320 targets are very tricky, but we knew we could do it with a big partnership. I mostly take the anchor role because both Rohit and Shikhar are good stroke-makers. It’s one of those rare days and I told him I will continue to bat positively and you play the anchor role. When Rayudu came he took that role and Rohit took over from me. You got to be honest to the sport and that is when the sport gives you back,” he said.
He also admitted that the team could have bowled better.
“It’s difficult to contain when a side like Windies bats like that. I don’t want to be too harsh on the bowlers, but yes, we could have applied a bit better and bowled better in the last few overs. That is something to learn for us,” he said.