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Cricket news - Rohit lauds 'unpredictable' West Indies but India won't imbibe their style

Lot of things creep in when you bat first. It's a different ball game when you bat second: Rohit

Lot of things creep in when you bat first. It's a different ball game when you bat second: Rohit

Virat Kohli's rather animated knock in Hyderabad not just gave India a series lead, but it jolted the West Indies. En route his 50-ball unbeaten 94, Kohli didn't just tear apart West Indies' bowling, but hurt their confidence as India chased down a total in excess of 200 with more than an over to spare. Kesrick Williams was at the receiving end of his notebook-tick celebration from the Indian captain. While it could've been rather deflating for Williams and then the team, they bounced back with an eight-wicket win in fine fashion, showcasing just why they are a force to reckon with in the shortest format.

West Indies were coming from a T20I series loss to Afghanistan. After taking a 1-0 lead, they slipped to a 1-2 defeat in Lucknow. A beating like the one in Hyderabad couldn't have helped, but they made a statement by levelling the series. Williams, himself, was the pick of the bowlers in Thiruvananthapuram with figures of 2-30, accounting for the Indian captain, choosing silence as a riposte. But the manner in which West Indies sealed the game after that confidence-denting loss, blared through.

"They are very unpredictable as a team," said Rohit Sharma on Tuesday (December 10). "You never know what they can come up with on that given day, like we saw the other day. Even the first game, they played very well and it was Virat's (Kohli) brilliance that got us over. But with West Indies this is always expected and they play well as a team and now under the leadership of Kieron Pollard...

"I know Pollard really well and I know as a leader what he would be expecting from the team. It is a different team that we are seeing now. We have to be at our best when we play them. Like I said they are very unpredictable, so we just got to stick to our plans and back it. They were good on that day and won the game, as simple as that. We were not good.

India's bowlers weren't aided by dew but sold themselves short on the variety front. Anything short found itself at the boundary or in the stands. India's lackadaisical fielding didn't help their cause either. Lendl Simmons, who led West Indies' chase, was handed a life, as was Nicholas Pooran, who finished the chase. Pooran said after the chase that West Indies were nervous when batting first. And why not, given the unpredictable nature of T20, no total is enough. West Indies scored 207 in the first T20I, but it wasn't enough. In the second game, India were defending 170, which wasn't either.

"See, if you're chasing you know the target what you're going after. Whether it is 200 or 150, you know the target and you know what pace to bat, how may runs you have to get an over. But when you are batting first, you want to set a target as much as you can and at the same time you have to remember that you're the set batsman and you shouldn't be throwing your wicket away and things like that. Lot of things creep in when you bat first. It's a different ball game when you bat second.

"When you're batting first, if you're hitting the ball well, you want to continue to do that and get as many runs as you can in that over. The batters who are coming in can take a bit more time and then go off. It's different when you're chasing; you have the target in front of you,you know exactly how you need to bat, the partnerships and everything."

With the Wankhede pitch being a high-scoring wicket, and dew assisting the team batting second, the toss will be crucial. Yet, it will come down to which team does their job of seeing through a perfect game by executing all their plans right.

"When you talk about setting targets, on that pitch 170 plus was a decent target when we started batting, the wicket was on the slower side, the shot making was not that easy although the West Indies made it look very easy. That's them, like I said that's I meant when I said they are very unpredictable. So we just have to get everything together and make sure we execute those plans, whether with the bat or ball.

"Yes, of late our chasing has been good and not posting targets or defending them rather. It was a good target that we posted there but again it's a new set of guys, lot of inexperienced players along with experienced players, that is what every T20 team now has, bit of inexperience, along with that some experience. Those two elements need to come together to form a very composite side.

"This format is such that you have to take risks to get on the top. For us, it will be important what we as a team can do. Not to try and replicate what the other team is doing or what the other team is trying to do. They back their strength which is play a few balls and then go after a big shot. But for us, it's totally different. We believe in taking singles and doubles and putting the pressure on the bowler by getting 8-9 an over without taking much of a risk. We are prepared to take risks when it is necessary. But at the end of the day, you want to play smart cricket. And that's how we beat the opposition by playing smart cricket."

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