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Cricket news - Renewed batting approach hands India the series
Kohli and KL Rahul scored quickfire fifties
In a 'see ball, hit ball' contest, India prevailed over West Indies - winning by 67 runs after posting 240 for 3 - and bagged the three-match series 2-1 in Mumbai. Rohit Sharma (71), KL Rahul (91) and Virat Kohli (70 not out) laid the platform for the bowlers before the pacers completed the demolition job.
India's changing approach
India have been forced to reinvent. West Indies' power meant the batsmen walked into the contest with the additional pressure of giving the bowlers the extra cushion. Once Kieron Pollard stuck India in, Rohit made his intentions clear from the first over. Off the second ball, he cleared his front leg and creamed Sheldon Cottrell wide of mid-off. Rahul matched Rohit in strokeplay and raised 72 in the powerplay.
The batsmen continued to go big and surged past 100 in eight overs. Kesrick Williams got the breakthrough in the 12th over - dismissing Rohit - but not before the openers had put on 135 to set up the perfect platform from a massive total.
Rahul's innings of two halves
In the first 32 deliveries Rahul faced, he scored 56. In his last 23 balls, he made 32. There was a brief period where West Indies managed to control the game before Kohli unleashed himself. West Indies stuck to the plan of bowling back-of length cutters to Rahul, and were successful in keeping him relatively quiet. However, his early onslaught meant India were in a comfortable position to weather a brief stutter.
When Williams riled up Kohli
Was it intentional? Absolutely not.
The Kohli-Williams battle has been a highlight of the series. The India captain walked after Williams had earlier delivered a 'send-off' to Rohit. That was enough for Kohli to get in the mood. India slowed down a touch after losing Rohit and Rishabh Pant in quick succession. With five overs to go, India were looking at a score in excess of 230. India were 173 for 2 at that stage and Williams was constantly troubling India. Against Kohli, he bowled seven balls and gave away just nine. But with every boundary Kohli hit in the last three overs, he started to point at Williams at short fine and had a message. Kohli scored 32 in the last ten deliveries he faced in the last two overs and took the game away from West Indies.
Three in three
West Indies were left with an unkind cut even before the chase began. Evin Lewis jarred his knee and was rushed to the hospital. India too had different plans. They opted to exclude both Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal and include Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami. Kohli decided not to start with Washington Sundar and the move paid off. West Indies lost Brandon King to Bhuvneshwar in the second over, Lendl Simmons to Shami in the third and Nicholas Pooran in the fourth to Deepal Chahar. At 17 for 3, West Indies were left reeling.
The Kuldeep comeback
Shimron Hetmyer and Pollard steadied the innings with a 74-run stand but Kuldeep dismissed the former to dent the visitors. He then got rid of Jason Holder to shut the door on West Indies. Even though he took a bit of stick from Pollard - and ended with 4-0-45-2 - there were enough glimpses of the Kuldeep of old as he tossed up the ball, slowed down the pace and used his variations well to come back with plenty of positives.
There wasn't much to cheer for the visiting side but their captain smashed 68 off 39 to keep India on their toes. Pollard's assault gave West Indies an outside chance - tonking five sixes and six fours - before falling to Bhuvneshwar in the 15th over.
Brief scores: India 240/3 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 91, Rohit Sharma 71, Virat Kohli 70*) vs West Indies 173/8 in 20 overs (Kieran Pollard 68; Deepak Chahar 2-20) by 67 runs.
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