India racked up their third-highest T20I total as they made 240 at Mumbai in the series decider after being put in to bat on a belter of a wicket by the Windies. They went on to win by 67 runs to wrap the series 2-1 and put behind a poor performance in the previous game.
There were quite a few talking points from the match:
The power-packed powerplay
If West Indies thought they had damage control mode on by opting to chase at the Wankhede, the local boy, Rohit Sharma was quick to dispel all such thoughts. He kicked off in Hitman mode while his partner, KL Rahul, was in no mood to relent either. What resulted was a slew of boundaries in the powerplay overs as Kieron Pollard looked lost for ideas.
After six overs India had made 72 without the loss of a wicket, their fifth-highest score in the first six overs in T20Is. The 78 they made against South Africa at Johannesburg remains the highest in the powerplay for them.
We loved the notebook celebration and Kesrick Williams' retort with the finger silencing, but Kohli wasn't letting Williams go back with the pacer having the last laugh. As the openers set up a formidable platform, the Kohli-Williams battle became one to watch out for.
The West Indian started off with two dots against Kohli and the batsman acknowledged with a nod of his head. But it took Kohli very little time to alter the script. When he came on for another over, Kohli slammed him for a six and exchanged a few words with him in the process.
As he completed a half-century off Kieron Pollard's over with back-to-back sixes, Kohli waved his bat at Williams who wore a helpless expression. Surely, we'd see more of this battle in the coming years.
We probably need to talk about Rishabh Pant
The wicket-keeper batsman sure has blown hot and cold, mostly the latter, and as he was dismissed for a two-ball duck in the 13th over, questions will once again come his way. With a solid platform given by the openers and 8 overs left on the game, Pant should probably have taken his time.
Instead, the left-hander went for his shot off the second ball he faced, and completely misjudged the off-cutter from Pollard to hole out to long-off. Sanju Samson's omission last game raised a lot of questions and Pant's recent failure will only add fuel to the fire.
The fireworks courtesy Hetmyer and Pollard
West Indies were always staring at a mammoth task after the kind of start Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul got. But huge turned into humungous as Virat Kohli came out all guns blazing at Mumbai. Somebody has to return the fireworks for West Indies and Shimron Hetmyer did the job initially, blasting five sixes in a 24-ball 41, tonking Shami and Kuldeep for two sixes apiece.
Skipper Kieron Pollard carried on from where Hetmyer left off, clubbing six sixes as he gave the tourists late hope in a ground he has played a lot of cricket in. Pollard's massive blows weren't complemented much from the other end and West Indies eventually lost track.
Kuldeep's mixed day
Kohli sprung a surprise at the toss by playing Kuldeep Yadav ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal in the series decider. The left-arm wrist-spinner, short on confidence after his recent fallacies in the World Cup and the Indian T20 League prior to that, had a sorry start to the game. Despite sending back the well-set Shimron Hetmyer, Kuldeep went for 26 runs in his first two overs.
With the ball travelling the distance, the wrist-spinner couldn't quite contain the big hits and went about leaking runs aplenty. That said, he grabbed the prize wicket of Hetmyer who could have taken the game closer. Kuldeep went on to concede just two runs and picked up Jason Holder's wicket in a brilliant third over, but the effort went futile as he conceded 17 in the final over. Figures of 4-0-45-2 means India still don't have a definitive option amongst Kulcha.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe