India beat West Indies in the second ODI by 44 runs to seal the three-match ODI series 2-0. The Men in Blue were off to a rollicking start, and yet they managed to post a respectable total of 237/9. They almost had Windies on the mat only to let up in the second half of their innings. The lower-order resistance shown by the visitors almost threatened to take the game away before India kept their calm and sealed the deal. Here are the five talking points from the match.
Kl Rahul Run Out: You usually don’t expect a guy like KL Rahul to go through a brain fade, do you? But that’s what exactly happened when he was run out on 49 which involved a mix up with Suryakumar Yadav. After he was dismissed, the ODI vice captain was seen venting his frustration at his partner which was simply unjustified. Anyone who had gone through the footage knows that not for a single moment Yadav looked like disobeying his partner. Yes, he didn’t pick up the pace immediately, but he never stopped jogging either. Rahul, on the other hand, almost completed the run only to slow down abruptly, as if he was unsure, or he was having a brain fade. It was a superb stand between the two, but that’s how competitive sports is. You pay the price for being in two minds.
Rishabh Pant Opening: Rishabh Pant opening the batting was something that definitely took everyone by surprise. Yes, Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad were down with Covid, but KL Rahul, who has previously opened, was in the playing eleven, and yet Pant was the one who got the promotion. Although KL’s numbers at five speak volumes for the move, nevertheless, Pant at the top just didn’t make sense. Also, the ploy backfired! He was just out of place, eating up too many balls and getting out for 34-ball-18. It was a failed experiment as India were reduced to 39/2 early in the innings. Later skipper Rohit Sharma clarified that they won’t be repeating such an act.
Debutante Odean Smith: Playing his first ODI, 25-year-old Odean Smith bowled brilliantly to take the crucial wickets of Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli in the same over. Especially, he set up Kohli with a beauty. He initially peppered him with short balls before bowling one full which kissed his bat and was caught by the keeper. Later as he came out to bat with the score reading 159/7, Indian fans felt a series win was a formality. However, Smith was ready to take the opposition by shock as he slammed Shardul Thakur for two of the biggest sixes which were hit with brute force. It took the commentators by surprise! By the time he was dismissed by Washington Sundar, he had managed to score 24 off 20. IPL scouts are you watching?
Definitely Rohit System: In the last game, the chemistry between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma came to the fore as a video of an excited Kohli convincing Rohit to take the DRS went viral. This time Rohit was proactive enough as he decided to review Darren Bravo’s dismissal. The ball had kissed his bat, but nobody was convinced, not even Kohli! But the captain straightaway went upstairs and was rewarded with the wicket. Maybe Sunil Gavaskar was right. DRS can be renamed Definitely Rohit System.
Prasidh Krishna Four-For: “I have never seen a spell-like that in India for a long time now,” yes, that’s Rohit Sharma on Prasidh Krishna. That tells you the story, isn’t it? India were in a spot of bother defending a total of 238; that’s when he got the ball and delivered instantly picking up the wicket of Brendan King with a ball that extracted sharp bounce. Then he managed to dismiss Darren Bravo and dangerman Nicholas Pooran as well. By the time, the game ended he had registered stunning figures of 9 overs, one maiden, four wickets, 12 runs. He had bowled brilliantly doing justice to his image of someone who hits the deck hard. With the 2023 World Cup around the corner, and the age on his side, Krishna is the one for the future.