The first T20I between India and West Indies in Hyderabad was an absolute run-feast. Typically, the tracks at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium aren’t high-scoring ones. However, it was different this time around and over 400 runs were scored in the game. In what was a thrilling game of cricket, India won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first.
Even though the West Indies lost Lendl Simmons early, Evin Lewis and Brandon King put up a good show. The left-hander fired in all cylinders and scored 40 off 17 before he got out. King, on the other hand, scored a fine 31. Shimron Hetmyer was the only batsman who scored a fifty and was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal for 56. Towards the end, a 19-ball 37 from Kieron Pollard and a 9-ball 24 from Jason Holder powered the West Indies to 207/5 in 20 overs.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul put up quite a show under pressure
With the way Indian batsmen went about things, the track didn’t seem to be easy to bat on in the second innings. Rohit Sharma fell early but KL Rahul and Virat Kohli ensured that they put a partnership on. The opener was the aggressor while the Indian captain struggled to get his timing right. Rahul constantly maintained the pressure on the opposition by hitting regular boundaries. Virat, on the other hand, got out luckily a couple of times.
KL Rahul got out after mustering 62 off 40 balls. As soon as he got out, Kohli somehow seemed to have found his touch back and seemed a completely different player all of a sudden. The 31-year-old played shots all around the ground and it was a delight to watch him in action. His unbeaten 50-ball 94 was an absolute masterpiece and he ensured that India completed a chase of 208 with a whopping 8 balls to spare. This is the highest target ever chased down the Team India in T20I cricket.
Kieron Pollard, the West Indies captain, said
Batters did a good effort. You’d take 208 ten out of ten times. We lost due to the extras column. Nearly two and a half overs of extra deliveries. Yes, it was a batting wicket, but if we executed our plans better, it could’ve been a different story.
There are only two areas where we lost the game in. Usually, we tend to focus on negatives, but a lot of positives to takeaway today. King and Hetmyer showed great intent. Fielders did well. In the end, we need to improve, and we will win if we learn to tick more boxes. Can’t fault the effort of the guys.
Virat Kohli, the Indian captain and the Man of the Match, said
To young batsmen watching, don’t follow the first half of my innings. I was batting poorly that time. I didn’t want to put KL under pressure but I couldn’t get going. Luckily got that one over from Holder, and then I began to analyse why I’m going wrong. Realised I’m not a slogger but a timer instead, and then changed my playing style. I’m not someone who wants to entertain by hitting in the air. The aim is not to play slam-bang cricket.
One of Rohit or I have to play long in this team. That’s the role I play in every team I play in. Basic funda is that I don’t want to change my game too much for T20Is. I’m an all-format player. I just want to score runs every game. There are a lot of distractions when you’re chasing a big total. Like the scoreboard. But after 4-5 dot balls, the game puts you in a zone where you have no option but to focus on the game again.
Williams had given me the notebook when he dismissed me in Jamaica, so I remembered it from there. We gave each other a high-five later. Play hard but respect the opponent.