Kuldeep, Jadeja defeat West Indies on turn cordial track

Ishan Kishan shepherded the chase and while India did lose five wickets along the way, with a target that small there was no real panic

The win was set up by the left-arm spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, who orchestrated a spectacular collapse of 7 for 26 in 44 balls as West Indies imploded from 88 for 3 to 114 all out. Ishan Kishan – who opened the batting with Shubman Gill – then shepherded the chase and while India did lose five wickets along the way, with a target that small there was no real panic. Rohit Sharma batted only at No. 7, and Virat Kohli was not even needed as the visitors reached the target with 163 balls to spare.

Sent in to bat, Shai Hope said he expected moisture on the surface to play a part, and while there was decent movement and carry early on, it was a trial by spin that ultimately did the batters in. Kuldeep picked up 4 for 6 in three overs and Jadeja 3 for 37 in six.

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India handed Mukesh Kumar his ODI cap and he started his one-day career the same way he did in Tests – with a maiden. But it was Hardik Pandya who drew first blood with a sharp back-of-a-length ball. He followed Kyle Mayers, who was looking for a release but could only manage an ungainly swipe to Rohit Sharma at mid-on.

Alick Athanaze, playing just his second ODI, came in and immediately looked the part. He flicked Hardik over deep square leg, a shot oozing Caribbean flair, and followed it up with a flourishing cover drive the very next ball. He then lay into Shardul Thakur, smashing him for two fours in his first over, but fell soon after to a nothing ball. A short and wide Mukesh delivery was slapped straight to backward point, with the bowler celebrating his maiden ODI wicket.

The very next over, it was Brandon King’s turn to depart, with Thakur rattling his middle stump courtesy a cross-seam delivery that moved sharply back in.

Shimron Hetmyer, playing his first ODI since July 2021, survived a DRS appeal for caught behind first ball but settled in fairly comfortably. He added a 43-run stand with captain Hope for the fourth wicket.

Hope got going by driving Mukesh on the up, before using the extra pace of Umran Malik and collecting back-to-back fours through pulls. Hetmyer was more circumspect in his approach as West Indies reached 87 for 3 after 15 overs, and it seemed like smooth sailing was ahead.

Unfortunately for the hosts, though, that was not to be. Jadeja’s first two overs went for 20, but he soon found his lengths and that made him near-unplayable. It didn’t help that Hetmyer got a bit too adventurous, trying an unwarranted scoop. Jadeja landed a fullish length ball on middle and Hetmyer went well across only to be bowled.

Jadeja then had Rovman Powell caught at first slip for 4 before a Virat Kohli special at second slip sent back Romario Shepherd two balls later. The batter went through with an expansive drive seeing the ball pitched up, but didn’t quite reach the pitch of it. The outside edge flew low to the right of Kohli, who plucked a one-handed take.

Kuldeep struck with just his third ball, a wrong ‘un that spun past Dominic Drakes’ inside-edge and caught him plumb in front. Yannic Cariah came and went with Hope, all this while standing at the other end, watching in despair. He smoked Jadeja for a mammoth six over long-off, but became Kuldeep’s third victim when he missed a reverse-sweep only to be pinned in front. Kuldeep claimed his four-wicket haul by removing Jayden Seales. This was West Indies’ second-lowest total against India in ODIs and their joint-third-lowest at home.

Kishan set the pace quite early in the chase, with a dismissive pull behind square in the opening over. Gill got a boundary of his own in the next over, albeit off a top edge. He, however, couldn’t last long, falling to Seales, who got the out-swinger going nicely to catch Gill’s edge. It was probably the previous three balls that did Gill in as he was pushed back by some quick short-of-a-length stuff before Seales got one to go a touch fuller.

Suryakumar, whose ODI form has been a talking point, did not do himself too many favours though he did light up the stage with one particular six off Seales, something of stand-up-straight scoop over fine leg that he’s making a signature shot of his. He crunched a sweep against Gudakesh Motie but tried the shot one too many times and was caught in front of the stumps. He did call for the DRS but to no avail.

Kishan continued to collect boundaries at regular intervals. Hardik, came in at No. 4 and was dropped on zero by King at first slip, but couldn’t last long. Kishan hammered a blow straight back at Cariah, who dropped the catch, but the ball ricocheted off his hands to the non-striker’s stumps, where Hardik was found short.

Kishan reached his fifty off 44 balls but fell trying to clear midwicket, giving Motie his second wicket. Thakur then walked in but failed to do much damage before Rohit finally walked in and, alongside Jadeja, ensured India got over the line in the 23rd over.

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