Rohit, and then Dinesh Karthik, lifted India to a competitive 190 from an uncomfortable 138 for six in the 16th over, a total which proved enough for the visitors to record a 68-run win in the first T20 International against the West Indies here.
While Rohit set up the platform with a 44-ball-64, it was Karthik’s calculated assault — an unbeaten 41 off 19 balls — that powered India in the final stages of their innings on a track with spongy bounce, and a little bit of turn and grip.
“We knew it’s going to be slightly tough, the shot making wasn’t easy at the start. The guys who are set need to carry on for longer and the way we finished off the first innings was a great effort,” Rohit said at the presentation ceremony.
“When we finished the first 10 overs, we didn’t think we could get to 190. It was a great effort from the boys and great finish. There are three facets of the game which we are trying to improve.
“We have got to try and back the ideas about executing it with the bat. We want to try certain things and all in all I thought it was a great effort,” Rohit, who is preparing to lead the team in the upcoming T20 World Cup, added.
For coach Rahul Dravid, almost all the strategic changes in the playing XI seemed to work.
.@DineshKarthik played a stroke-filled knock of 41* off 19 balls & bagged the Player of the Match award as… https://t.co/a8wtQPCgXe
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1659120333000
Suryakumar Yadav (24 off 16 balls) provided an interesting option as an opener while the manner in which Arshdeep Singh deceived a rampaging Kyle Mayers with a short delivery spoke volumes about his temperament.
“Certain pitches will not allow you to do that and we need to assess how we go about. It is all about backing your skills and strengths.
“I love playing here in West Indies. Indian team always receives great support from the Indian crowd coming in from the USA and also the local crowd here, quite superb to get such support,” Rohit said.
The team’s designated finisher, Karthik spoke about the backing he’s been receiving from the team management.
A dominant performance by our bowlers 👏👏#TeamIndia win the 1st #WIvIND T20I by 68 runs and take 1-0 series lead 💪 https://t.co/H15eUfQZoK
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1659119056000
“It was sticky, not an easy wicket to bat on. It’s a very interesting role, you need the backing from the coach and the captain and that really helped. Important to assess the wicket and what kind of shots you need to play, and that comes with practice,” said Karthik, the Player of the Match.
Trailing 0-1 in the five-match series, West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran was disappointed to have let the “amazing” crowd down.
“The players have been feeling very hurt but this is the first game of the T20 series and we will look to bounce back,” Pooran said.