Imperious Kohli, Rohit and other takeaways from Guwahati ODI

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All too easy for Kohli and Rohit. Image - BCCI/Twitter.

India inflicted a crushing eight-wicket defeat on a depleted West Indies in the first ODI between the two sides held at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.

Batting first, the Windies did remarkably well to post a challenging total of 322-8 from their 50 overs. However, India’s response with the bat was stupendous with the hosts romping to victory with 47 balls to spare.

As India take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, we take a look at the key talking points from Guwahati.

SENSATIONAL HETMYER LIFTS WINDIES

Despite a quick-fire half-century from opener Kieran Powell, the Windies were wobbling early on in their innings with Mohammed Shami looking good with the new ball.

The visitors had been reduced to 86-3 when Shimron Hetmyer walked in to bat and were soon tottering at 114-4 with the departure of Shai Hope. That is when Hetmyer took matters into his own hands with a counter-attacking innings littered with big hits to the fence.

The left-hander had been all at sea against spin in the Test series but he showed that white-ball cricket is an entirely different ball-game with a belligerent innings that propelled West Indies to 322-8. Hetmyer struck six boundaries and as many sixes in his 78-ball innings which fetched 106 runs.

It was his third ODI ton in just 13 innings and it was only fitting that he brought it up with a sumptuous six.

CHAHAL KEEPS WINDIES IN CHECK

With Hetmyer tearing into India’s bowling attack, it looked at one point the visitors would go beyond 350. All of India’s bowlers had started leaking runs with Shami being taken for plenty despite his bright start.

It was the spinners, especially Yuzvendra Chahal, who ensured that India would not have to chase a target well beyond their reach. The wrist-spinner dismissed the dangerous Marlon Samuels for a duck and kept a tight lid on the runs throughout his spell.

Chahal accounted for the well-set Jason Holder too in the death when the Windies skipper was looking in threatening touch before removing Ashley Nurse. He was the only Indian bowler to go below six runs an over and finished with impressive figures of 3-40 from his quota of 10 overs.

IMPERIOUS KOHLI AND ROHIT

When India lost Shikhar Dhawan in the second over of their chase of 323, the Windies would have sensed an opening. What followed was pure carnage from India skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma. After a few streaky boundaries early on in their innings, the duo put their foot on the accelerator. It was Kohli who was the primary aggressor of the two in the first-half of their partnership as none of West Indies’ bowlers were shown any respect.

Kohli brought up his half-century off just 35 balls as Rohit played second fiddle and took 53 deliveries more to register his 36th ODI ton. Once he brought up his three figures, the right-hander threw caution to the wind with some outrageous strokes.

When Kohli slowed down in the middle, it was Rohit’s turn to bring the fireworks as the India opener raced away to his 20th ODI century after a quiet start. The duo brought up their fifth double-century stand too in the process which is the most by any pair in ODI history. By the time Kohli departed for a 107-ball 140, the match was done and dusted.

Rohit remained unbeaten on 152 to take India past the finish line with almost eight overs to spare.

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