India beat West Indies in Kolkata by six wickets in the first of the three-match T20I series to take 1-0 lead. Captain Rohit Sharma scored a 40 while Suryakumar Yadav remained unbeaten on 34 to guide India to a comfortable win. Batting first, the visitor put up 157 runs on the board, which India chased down with seven balls to spare. Young spinner Ravi Bishnoi was the best performer of the game for picking up two wickets for just 17 runs. The remaining two T20Is will also be played at the Eden Gardens, on 18 and 20 February respectively. Let us take a look at the important talking points from the opening T20I between India and West Indies
Ravi Bishnoi shines on debut
Ravi Bishnoi became the first Indian player to make international debut from the 2020 Under-19 World Cup winning team. He made the most of the opportunity, and ended his first international T20I game with two wickets at an economy of 4.25 runs per over. He bowled a staggering 17 dot balls in his four overs, and also won the Player of the Match award.
Bishnoi was one of the best performers at the 2020 U19 Cricket World Cup. He took 17 wickets at an economy of 3.48 in six outings. In the final against Bangladesh, his four-wicket haul was the highlight of the game. From there on, Bishnoi made his way to the Indian Premier League and then the Indian Cricket Team.
“He’s got lot of variations and skill-set with him. He can bowl at any stage and it gives us a lot of options to rotate the other bowlers. He’s got a bright future and it’s just about us now on how we use him,” captain Rohit Sharma said of Bishnoi after the game.
Nicholas Pooran – the lone Windies warrior
West Indies’ famed batting line-up failed on the day, with Nicholas Pooran being the only batsman to put up a good fight. Pooran, who recently bagged a Rs 10.75 crore contract at the IPL auction, scored 61 runs off 43 balls, which were laced with four boundaries and five maximums. The only other significant contributions came from Kyle Mayers (31 off 24) and Kieron Pollard (24* off 19).
Rohit Sharma leads from the front
Very rarely has Rohit Sharma failed to impress with his batting at the Eden Gardens – a venue where he has terrific records. And he was back at it once again, scoring a quickfire 40 in the first T20I. The Indian skipper and opener gave his team a good start with a 19-ball 40 that was laced with four boundaries and three maximums.
India’s middle order stutters again
Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant, all three fell in quick succession and made the chase look difficult for India at one point. Kohli’s poor run extended into the T20 format as he fell to Fabian Allen for 17. Earlier in the three ODIs against the West Indies, the former skipper had scored eight, 18 and a duck.
Ishan Kishan, who became the most expensive player of the 2022 IPL auction after being snapped up by the Mumbai Indians for Rs 15.25 crore, didn’t have a good day either. Kishan scored 35 off 42 balls, which was a knock quite contrary to his big-hitting abilities. Rishabh Pant, meanwhile, managed only eight runs off as many balls.
India were 114 for 4 in the 15th over, but Suryakumar Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer made sure that no more wickets fell. Yadav hit a flamboyant 18-ball 34 while Iyer contributed with an unbeaten 34 off 13 balls to take India over the line.