Windies' Shimron Hetmyer seals his IPL ticket while delivering crushing blow to India in first ODI

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Shimron's going to the IPL. Image credit - Windies/Twitter.

India fell to an unprecedented fourth straight loss at home in the format as West Indies recorded an emphatic eight-wicket win in the first ODI in Chennai on Sunday.

Having posted a total of 287-8, India were brushed aside by contrasting, but equally excellent, tons from Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope which steered Windies to a comfortable chase.

There were several talking points from the Chennai clash which has left the hosts trailing 0-1 in the three-match series.

Pant shows his mettle with maiden ODI fifty

Having to fill the enormous boots of MS Dhoni hasn’t been easy for Rishabh Pant with the young wicketkeeper’s poor limited-overs record inviting increased scrutiny with each passing game. Calls for dropping Pant from the squad had been growing of late, especially with Sanju Samson waiting in the wings, and the pressure was well and truly on the youngster when he walked out to bat in the first ODI.

With the top three of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli failing to fire, India were in real danger of collapsing on a slow and two-paced pitch. Pant has been criticised in the past for throwing his away to rash and impulsive shots, but the southpaw showed greater maturing on Sunday in an innings mixed with equal parts of control and aggression.

His 114-run stand for the fourth wicket along with Shreyas Iyer stabilised India’s innings and was ultimately responsible for the hosts posting a respectable total. Despite coming in at a precarious spot for India, Pant scored his 71 runs at a strike-rate greater than 100 and crashed seven boundaries and a six during his innings.

Unfortunately for the Delhi man and India, he was unable to push on for a century and was caught in the deep while trying to clear the fence.

The controversial run-out

Controversy erupted in the 48th over of India’s innings when Ravindra Jadeja was belatedly adjudged to be run-out. With Jadeja attempting to get to the striker’s end to complete a quick single, Roston Chase hit the stumps with a direct-hit. There was barely any appeal subsequently from the visitors with the umpire choosing not to send the decision upstairs.

However, once the replay of the incident was displayed on the television screens in the stadium, the Windies fielders quickly realised that Jadeja was indeed short of his crease. They then went up in collective appeal to the umpire who had no hesitation in sending the decision to the third-umpire this time around.

While the final decision was indeed the correct one, the manner in which it had arrived left a bitter taste in India skipper Virat Kohli’s mouth.

“I’ve never seen that happen again. I don’t know where the rules are, where the line is drawn,” Kohli stated after the game.

“I think the referee and the umpires have to see that incident again and figure out what needs to be done in cricket.

“The people sitting outside can’t dictate what happens on the field and I think that’s exactly what happened then.”

Hetmyer passes his IPL audition

If Hetmyer’s explosive displays in the preceding T20 series were not enough to catch the eye of IPL franchises, his latest showing most certainly will. The left-handed batsman was at his belligerent best in one of the best ODI knocks ever registered on Indian soil while chasing.

While Shai Hope’s unbeaten 102 came off 151 balls, Hetmyer took just 106 deliveries to rack up his 139 runs. The 22-year-old was sublime against the fast-bowlers and medium pacers, but it was his expert handling of the spinners, particularly Jadeja, that broke India’s back.

A second ODI ton against India was due reward for his sensational effort on the night and the Caribbean man will definitely have piqued the interests of several IPL franchises, if not that all, with that performance. Hetmyer was let go by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) after just one season, despite being a big-money purchase last year and he has played like a man possessed on the tour of India to send a timely reminder ahead of Thursday’s auction in Kolkata.

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