by Elton Gomes
A dominant India outperformed the West Indies by nine wickets in the fifth and final match of the One-day international (ODI) series in Thiruvananthapuram. By winning the last match, India clinched the five-match ODI series 3-1.
Indian captain Virat Kohli became the first Indian captain to win six consecutive ODI series at home, and India recorded their sixth straight bilateral series win against the West Indies at home.
Winning the toss, Windies captain Jason Holder elected to bat, but his team put on a sub-par performance, and the Indian bowlers ran through the Windies batsmen with ease.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took four wickets to help India bundle out the Windies for 104 in just 31.5 overs. In addition, pacers Khaleel Ahmed and Jasprit Bumrah scalped two wickets each.
India managed to achieve the target in just 14.5 overs, thanks to an unbeaten 99-run stand between Rohit Sharma (62 off 54) and captain Virat Kohli (33 off 29).
It was a complete surrender from the Windies, who let themselves down after competing well in the initial three ODIs.
West Indies opener Kieran Powell and Shai Hope were sent back for a duck. After a small partnership of 34-runs, Windies lost their third wicket in the form of Marlon Samuels, who was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja in the 12th over.
After losing Samuels, West Indies kept losing wickets at a regular pace. Jason Holder was the highest run-scorer for West Indies with 25 runs in 33 deliveries. Samuels led a brief revival after hitting some crisp boundaries and the only six for the Windies.
However, Samuels’ resistance ended in the 12th over when he fell to a soft dismissal of Jadeja for 24. Windies captain Jason Holder showed some patience and skill to resist the outstanding Indian bowlers, but lost his wicket to Khaleel Ahmed.
Khaleel has been outstanding: Kohli
Indian skipper Virat Kohli identified batsman Ambati Rayudu and fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed as the major gains for the team. Kohli, who was named man of the series for scoring 453 runs in five matches, insisted that the recognition was a “by-product” of efforts made by the team and him.
“Two areas that I can think of – third seamer – Khaleel has been outstanding,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation. “Rayudu has also taken responsibility at No.4. God forbid anything happens to Bhuvi or Bumrah, good to have Khaleel who can come in and take wickets. Those two areas we’re looking at. And those two have been addressed,” News 18 reported.
Kohli further said that the Windies’ decision to bat first was like a “blessing in disguise.” He said, “Because of our clinical performance, we were able to finish the game in a few hours. It was a blessing in disguise that Windies elected to bat first because we wanted to bowl anyway, but we still had to execute our plans.
We have been clinical in the last two games, we were very professional with the bat and ball. The changing room atmosphere is very important and when we play like that, the energy is always good,” as per the News 18 report.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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