The wounds of the World Cup semi-final exit were still fresh in many fans’ hearts, and India needed a very dominating performance against West Indies to heal those wounds. With a 4- wicket win in the 1st T20I at Lauderhill, Florida, the men in blue have got the start they had dreamt of.
A target of 96 looks very achievable in 10-over games nowadays. Hence, it was more of a case of which ‘non-permanent’ member of the Indian team would capitalize on the opportunity. While no one could really impress, contributions in ‘bits and pieces’ from several players helped Virat Kohli’s team get over the line.
West Indies got an early breakthrough as Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed for 1. The decision-making duo of India prevented any sort of a miracle. Manish Pandey and Krunal Pandya’s crucial inputs helped India get over the line. Youngster Rishabh Pant’s temperament will be under scrutiny again, as he failed to open his account.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Washington Sundar handed India a great start by dismissing both the openers within the 2nd over. Nicholas Pooran somehow steadied the ship, but the domino effect kicked in when he was dismissed.
Kieron Pollard stood like a rock, but he was fighting a lost cause. Wickets kept falling continuously at the other end as every Indian bowler joined the party. His knock of 49 runs from as many balls helped West Indies evade the creation of any embarrassing record, but a total of 95 was far from challenging.
Many pundits wanted to see pacer Navdeep Saini in the Indian World Cup squad. While that didn’t happen, Saini donned the blue for the first time today in what was a memorable occasion. With 3 crucial wickets, he was India’s most successful bowler and has been adjudged our star of the match.